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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Produce truck at 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show
 Produce Truck at the Pennsylvania Farm Show
The sign on the truck door says,
"Hopkins Fancy Always Busy Farm"

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"Going On"

"Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshipped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate" (2 Samuel 12:20). "The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever" (Psalm 138:8).

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

I have a friend on my heart who recently faced a very hard blow, a loss that seemed unimaginable prior to the reality. But he's seen God's grace at work in his life. Last week we visited for a few minutes in his office and He shared how he is dealing with the inevitable grief and the "whys" as he overcomes.

In a memorial service we attended last Saturday the pastor shared a thought that held my attention. In reflecting on the lady who had passed away he said, "The richest lives are those who experience great highs and deep lows."

Now most of us would prefer just the great highs but in our hearts we realize the deep lows are also a part of God's plan. These deep lows are sometimes a result of our own sin, disobedience and bad choices. Other times they are a result of something completely out of our hands. We don't understand, we can't begin to comprehend. It may make no sense at the time and not even later in some situations. We will understand it better by and by.

David got himself into his own sin-filled mess recorded in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. It is one of the most famous sins in the Bible and a lesson all through. But today let's look together at the aftermath.

The prophet Nathan courageously confronted him and David finally confessed his sin to God and received assurance from the prophet that God would forgive him, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die" (2 Samuel 12:13).

But there was a price (sin always has a price tag, but often tucked out of sight). The prophet proclaimed that the child born to David and Bathsheba would die and the child was struck with an illness.
O, how David pleaded with God for a different outcome. He fasted, laying on the ground night after night.  Finally he received the report that his child with Bathsheba had indeed died.  His servants had been very reluctant to even tell him for fear that he might do something desperate.

But what David did, summarized in the daily text is very instructive: "Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshipped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate" (2 Samuel 12:20). This is a powerful illustration of "going on".

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Many of you know what I mean by the expression "going on". You've faced a hard blow of one sort or another. Some
people deal with such circumstances by withdrawing from activities and the view of others. When possible they go into "hiding" until the storm is past.

There's a time to plead and earnestly petition God for the outcome we hope for and so often our prayers are answered accordingly. But there are times when they are not, and in spite of the deep, painful, lingering questions that may follow us to our grave, we must, like David, get up, learn what God has to teach us, seek His forgiveness if needed, and move on.

We do well to focus on God's eternal purpose as we go on. Our eternal God spoke through David, "The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever." By God's grace many can testify that they are indeed "going on".  May you and I be two of them today!

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we know that life is full of ups and downs for everyone, even the most diligent spiritual warrior. Help us to work through these jolts of the unexpected and unwelcome interruptions that bring sadness, disappointment or a change of perfect plans. It's how You work Your purpose in our lives as we overcome and work through major obstacles that affect us. We seek to remain steadfast, moving forward in our Christian walk as we experience the inevitable heartaches of life. At times we bring about our own grief and troubles because of our ungodly actions. We thank You for Your forgiveness in these matters. You enable us to get up, take off the sackcloth, and brush off the burnt ashes from doing things our own way. And You give us fresh resolve to trust and obey You through Christ Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.

In reading today's podcast this part of the verse especially jumped out at me: "He went into the house of the LORD and worshipped."

2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show

In early January we usually visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, a huge indoor agricultural exposition similar to state fairs in other states. Ester and Brooksyne know this is something I just like to do.

Vegetable mystery at 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show
Ester checking out the mystery vegetables.
She was hesitant and I admit it was a bit creepy!

Wood frame bike at 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show
A bike frame made entirely of wood!

Potato man at 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show
Mr. Potato Man made of real potatoes!

Lawyer advertisement at 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show
"Please do not put your hands into the stall" but if you do...
For many years trial lawyers have been begging for business. We found this advertisement on a livestock stall especially opportunistic!

We will share several more Farm Show photos tomorrow.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs through this Saturday. Ten dollars to park the car and then it's free admission to the show. Several hours+ of wholesome family entertainment, Don't miss the Food Court and a steaming bowl of creamy portabella mushroom soup!
And, yes, we recommend the milk shakes to help support our milk farmers (even as it pleases our taste buds)!

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"I Will Rise"  Video  Chris Tomlin This is the song we share the lyrics to throughout the message. We especially encourage our readers who are overcoming and going on to listen to this song!

"I Feel Like Going On"  Video  Amen!

"Who Shall Separate Us"
 Video   Wayne Tate

"If My God is For Me" Romans 8:28-38  Video  David Delgado

"Blessings"  Video  Laura Story

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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