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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I saw this thought-provoking message on the back of a T-shirt.

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"Why Do You Worry?"

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin" (Matthew 6:28). "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34).

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

A phrase we use in chaplaincy but it's true in any type of ministry where care is extended to others: "You're either in the midst of a problem, just coming out of one or going into another!" That being the case, most people are well acquainted with worry. One description I read is that "worry is thoughts, images and emotions of a negative nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats". Once we acquire the habit of worrying it is very difficult to stop.

Essentially worry is mistrust. We're acting as though God isn't big enough to handle our problems. "Why do you worry?" is a heart probing question that Jesus asks and then answers later in the context of a rebuke, "O you of little faith"

Worry is an ancient human condition. It seems that people have always had something to worry about so Jesus addressed the matter head-on in His "Sermon on the Mount". It's a good portion to memorize and I've preached on it several times. But today let's consider the phrase, "Each day has enough trouble of its own."

What an honest assessment of life from our Lord and perhaps a bit of humor as well. Every day does have some trouble, doesn't it. Certainly some days more than others so we can be thankful for the less troublesome days. If we're not presently undergoing troubles in our own lives, it's sure to be present in those we care about. And if your circle of association is small, merely watch the news where we see trouble circling the globe, yet made very personal in those undergoing its discomfort.

A recurring theme throughout Scripture is that believers are to live one day at a time. God calls us to trust in Him day by day, moment by moment. He encourages us not to look ahead to "possible" troubles, but to realize His grace is here for us at this moment, this hour.

We can't store up grace any more than the Israelites were permitted to store up God's daily provision of manna in the wilderness. God chose to deliver fresh manna daily and He chooses to provide fresh grace daily as the need arises. Jeremiah spoke of the mercies of the Lord that are "new every morning". So, if you have a new trial you will also experience a new mercy from God to undergird you and guide your response to the challenge at hand. His loving care is steadfast and sure. You can rely on that today, tomorrow and always.

"Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him
How I proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You are the Great Provider who meets all our needs.  There is nothing we lack when we commit our ways to You and ask You to provide for us. You know what we have need of before we ask it, but You are pleased that we bring it to You and acknowledge You to be the One who provides for all our natural, physical, and spiritual needs. When our hearts are secure, we will have no fear, for in the end we will look in triumph on our foes. That's because we serve You, our faithful, caring, and generous God, who faithfully watches over us providing us with Your daily mercies.  We thank You as we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

PeachThe Blessing of Peaches

One of our favorite fresh fruits is the peach and there's just nothing like biting into a sweet juicy peach!

Peach harvest 2012
We headed over to our friend Nelson Heisey's large peach orchard for fresh peaches. He was pleased to get his gator and drive me out to see the fruit-filled trees.

Peach harvest 2012
The trees are well laden with low hanging fruit.

Peach harvest 2012
Nelson sells his produce along the road using a self service honor system. He has a good reputation and these peaches will quickly be gone.

Box of Lancaster County PA peaches
 Lancaster County peaches

Canned peaches 2012
This year apart from enjoying fresh peaches Brooksyne canned peaches for pie filling and peach jam.

Peach cobbler
Last night Brooksyne made a sumptuous southern peach cobbler which took us back in memory to our years of living in Missouri and Oklahoma when peach and blackberry cobbler were favorite desserts especially in the summer months. (See below for recipe)

For anyone interested we shared a more complete set of photos from last year's peach prep here.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resource

"What A Friend We Have In Jesus"  Video  Paul Baloche

"Tis So Sweet"  Video  Casting Crowns

"Day By Day"  Video  Antrim Mennonite Choir

"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"  Video  Selah

"Perfect Peace"  Video  Laura Story

Two-Crust Southern Peach Cobbler

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Crisco
1/3 cup ice water
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and Crisco.
Mix until crumbly, add water and mix well.
On a floured surface, knead the mixture several times for about 3 minutes.
Cut mixture in half, form into two flat discs, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

4 pounds fresh peaches (about 7 to 8 large peaches)
2 cups sugar (or less according to sweetness of peaches)
4 tablespoons flour or clear jell*
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup butter, divided.
Preheat oven to 350. Peel and slice peaches.
Toss peaches into large saucepan. Add sugar, flour, spices and ¼ C. butter.
Simmer for 7 minutes or till juice is thickened; remove from heat to cool.
Add vanilla or almond extract.
Remove dough from fridge and roll out one crust on a floured surface into a rectangle.
Place in a greased 11x9 baking dish.
Pour filling over the crust.
Roll out second disc on floured surface and cut into strips.
Place strips in lattice pattern on top of peach mixture.
Dab remaining softened butter on crust strips with a brush.
Sprinkle buttered lattice with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Coarse sugar gives a nice finished look.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Cool for about 10 minutes so crust will set.

*Clear Jell (or Thermoflo used interchangeably) is a modified food starch used in pie fillings and as a thickener, available in many bulk food stores. Its texture is superior to flour or cornstarch (in my opinion). I use it in canning and often in cooking. Make sure you purchase clear jell not dutch jell that is used for making jams and jellies.

(recipe adapted from a recipe in Muskogee, Oklahoma newspaper)

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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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