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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Passing through a portion of upstate New York with a heavy concentration of Amish we saw a lot of these road signs. We wonder if the artist was from the city since the signs look more like a horse pulling a tractor or a surrey with the fringe on top!
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"Believing His Promises"
"Then they believed His promises and sang His praise" (Psalm 106:12). "Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them" (Psalm 119:140).
Do you have a song in your heart today? What is it that gives you a song? A catchy tune, skilled musicians, thoughtful lyrics. In our first daily text the song is a result of believing His promises, "they believed His promises and sang His praise." Our goal today is to give hearts that may be troubled a song as we consider an aspect of God's promises.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and virtually every verse extols some aspect of God's Word. The Psalmist David seems to be in a crescendo of deep appreciation for God's Word and yet the "Bible" he had was only the first five books of our present Bible, perhaps along with some of the historical books (hardly listed among our favorite sources of promises!)
"Your promises have been thoroughly tested." Dr. Herbert Lockyer's book titled "All the Promises In The Bible" lists over 8,000 promises. These promises are definite, explicit declarations God has made that we can rely on. His promises are "thoroughly tested." The actual Hebrew words convey a poker constantly in the fire in the refining process of gold. The Amplified Bible states "tried and well refined."
Consider how these promises that David reckoned as "thoroughly tested" have been around an additional three thousand years! And now we have the entire Bible as a source of revelation from God and a great mine from which to glean His promises. Late in the New Testament Peter writes of God's "exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Peter 1:4). We certainly are blessed aren't we?
The Psalmist continues by expressing his attitude toward God's thoroughly tested promises, "your servant loves them." Believing friend, you can depend on God's promises regardless of the seeming hopelessness of any situation you may face. His promises have been thoroughly tested again and again. May God give each of us a great love for them and increase our faith as we see them fulfilled in our present age. It will help us to hold out for the promises not yet fulfilled.
Bible teacher James Montgomery Boice has noted, "The God of the Bible is not weak; He is strong. He is all-mighty. Nothing happens without His permission or apart from His purposes -- even evil. Nothing disturbs or puzzles Him. His purposes are always accomplished. Therefore those who know Him rightly act with boldness, assured that God is with them to accomplish His own desirable purposes in their lives."
Friend of God, as you hold onto His thoroughly tested promises may your heart be filled with a song of praise.
All your promises are true
I will lift up my eyes to You
For You're all that I need
And by faith I receive
the wonderful things You will do.
All your promises are true;
I will lift up my eyes to You.
When my heart starts to fail,
Lord, Your strength will prevail,
And all You have said You will do
Your promises are true
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to meditate upon Your promises so that our faith is increased and our hope is renewed. When obstacles cloud our view that discourage or sway our trust in You, knowing Your thoroughly tested promises helps us to look beyond the natural and trust You for the supernatural.
New York Trip
This last weekend we took some Amish friends to New York state and want to share some more photos from our trip. We shared some photos yesterday of the Fly Creek Cider Mill. Today our photos feature Amish life in New York. Although we have lived in Lancaster County nearly 12 years now and befriended many Amish we still find their lifestyle very interesting. Over the last several years an Amish settlement has developed from Amish migrating from Lancaster County to rural New York state. As their population grows here in Lancaster County and land prices get more expensive the Amish develop settlements elsewhere. They are restoring fallow farms in upstate New York.
Saturday afternoon we went over to the farm where our friends Jesse and Anna Ruth were staying, her sister and family. Jesse and Anna have five kids. Her sister and husband have six so it was quite a busy household. Even with all the company it was still laundry day.
Most of us see Amish as all being the same. However there are various groups with varying degrees of strictness and separation from the wider culture. Among the most culturally conservative are the Nebraska Amish who also have a settlement in that area. Saturday afternoon Jesse and his brother-in-law John were interested in driving over and observing them and running another errand while he had access to a van. We saw this farmer spreading manure in front of corn shocks. The Nebraska Amish live much more primitively than those from Lancaster County.
Moseying about one of the old order farms we came across this sight out back. Looks like this family had some very fresh chicken for supper!
The Amish boys live a childhood similar to mine and those of you near my age, though they do more hours of chores than I was required. They love playing outdoors and getting dirty. Here they are jumping off the roof of a small cabin Ester and I stayed in two years ago. It was a bit too rustic (no electric) for Brooksyne, especially since she had come down with a very serious case of poison ivy in mid summer. She stayed back in Mount Joy, but this time we all came and stayed at a hotel near Cooperstown.
The children are always intrigued by the photos I take so they gathered around me to have a look on my small camera screen. Anna Ruth teased that I just needed a Santa Claus suit since I was so popular.
Brooksyne took to this German Shepherd pup for sale. Cute now, but this dog will get very big!
This kitten found an unusual place to hideout requiring some effort to take the photo. Any idea where she is? Answer below.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"All Your Promises Are True" Video Shannon Wexelburg & Bethesda Community Church Choir in Fort Worth, TX
"Standing On The Promises" Video The Mansion Singers
"God's Promise" Video The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
The Nebraska Amish are so named because a group of them lived in south-central Nebraska for a short time over 100 years ago!
The area of New York we visited is here (google map)
The kitten found a hiding spot under a horse drawn buggie nestled on the frame!
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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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