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Friday, June 6, 2014

Fisher's Greenhouse, Strasburg, PA
We visited Fisher's Greenhouse near Strasburg PA, an extremely tidy operation ran by an Amish family, not only the neatly arranged plants but even the clothes hanging on the line. Click on photo for a larger view.

"The People Who Know Their God"

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"He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action" (Daniel 11:32). "God’s Spirit specifically tells us that in later days there will be men who abandon the true faith and allow themselves to be spiritually seduced by teachings of the devil" (1 Timothy 4:1). "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith" (1 Peter 5:8,9).

From the time of the successful seduction of Adam and Eve the enemy has sought to continue the seduction in each of their descendants. And from the very beginning flattery has been one of the most effective tools in Satan's diabolical arsenal. In the Garden Satan appealed to their pride declaring, "You will be like God" (Genesis 3:5).

Today the great spiritual war rages on. I ask you to consider the cosmic struggle underlying all that we see with our eyes.  So many are being seduced by the teachings of the devil.

Daniel praying
The latter portion of Daniel is a series of prophetic messages dealing with events that stretch from his time (about 550 BC) through the various historically verifiable world empires to the present and beyond. It can be a tough read requiring much concentration.

The flattering "he" in the daily text is a king whose modus operandi is to "seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant". Although the specific "he" in the text may not be Satan, surely it represents his ongoing, persistent attempts to seduce God's people through the likes of such people as this king. Any violation of a covenant results in further seduction if there is no repentance offered. As the apostle Paul stated, "a man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7).

But the focus of this daily encouragement is the latter part of the text, which has such an application for all times.

"But the people who know their God."  In every generation God has called out a people who know Him. Not in the sense of merely knowing about Him nor through the experiences of others, but in their own experience and through a deepening of understanding and a more fully surrendered heart.

The apostle Paul wrote many years after his conversion experience when he initially came to know Christ, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death" (Philippians 3:10). This surely speaks of an ongoing aspiration to know God in a greater and deeper way. When we walk in the resurrection power that comes from Christ we will experience and overcome the sufferings that also come to the believer as we share in His sufferings. Too often we want the resurrection power, but resist the suffering that comes to those who identify with Christ in His death.

"Shall stand firm and take action." This growing knowledge of God will equip us as His people to unyieldingly resist the ploys of Satan. It is so easy to be seduced and led astray if we are not aware of Satan's tactics. We can learn about them since they are revealed all throughout the Scriptures.  In my heart I have such a deep sense of the urgency of this warning and remind our readers to "be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.".

Fellow believer in Christ, today let us pursue a growing knowledge of God as we surrender ourselves fully to His control, and let us firmly resist the enemy of our souls. Let us determine that we will keep our covenant with God and truly be a
people who know our God and stand firm and take action.

Oh, I want to know You more,
Deep within my soul I want to know You,
Oh, I want to know You;
To feel Your heart and know Your mind.
Looking in Your eyes stirs up within me
Cries that say, "I want to know You,
Oh, I want to know You more,
Oh, I want to know You more."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, deep within our soul there is a yearning to know You more, to identify with You in Your power, and even in Your suffering, and also in Your victory over Satan.  What a powerful example You give us as You were tempted in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.  Satan had a plot, but You had a plan to refute every scheme he laid out by responding with Scripture.  Scripture that was spoken and recorded long before the wilderness battle ensued.  Help us to be like-minded, to learn and embrace the Scriptures, so that we will do battle with the enemy not by our might or strength that might actually be weakened in the midst of it, but in the powerful strength that comes through the inspiration of Your Holy Word meant for all time.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Fisher's Greenhouse
Strasburg, PA

Framed flowers at Fisher's Greenhouse, Strasburg, PA
For some time I have been intrigued by these vertical planting surfaces. I observed carefully and found that these plants' roots are woven through cocoa matting. On the other side of the cocoa matting is soil about 3 inches deep enclosed in a steel frame.
  The result is the frame can be hung on a wall and the plants grow vertically.

Shelves at Fisher's Greenhouse, Strasburg, PA
Lots of containers

Flower bed at Fisher's Greenhouse, Strasburg, PA
Lots of interesting plants.

Sign at Fisher's Greenhouse, Strasburg, PA
The greenhouse had many folksy signs like this one.

Lapp hanging plant, Strasburg, PA
At our Amish friends place we saw a plant from Fisher's Greenhouse where she shops in the spring and summer season.

Chris and Gena by Donegal Creek 6/5/14
Last night our friends Chris and Gena joined us for dinner and we took them on our favorite Donegal Creek walk

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Oh, I Want To Know You More"  Video  Steve Green

"Knowing You"  Video
  This is a great song of aspiration that many of you have sung in a church service.


Yesterday's photo: We shared this photo yesterday and inquired why the buggy had "10" written on the side. Some may have wondered if Jesse drove his buggy in the NASCAR race in Dover DE this last Sunday. (But everyone knows the Amish would never race on Sunday.) Some may also surmise that Jesse in marking "10" on his buggy is showing support for his favorite NASCAR driver but this is not the case either and if it was his wife would not be pleased.

Actually his grandmother died last week and Jesse was a pall bearer. The buggies are numbered for the funeral procession. Several readers answered the question properly.

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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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