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Friday, May 1, 2015

Oversize load

"For Those Bearing An Oversize Load"

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"For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me" (Psalm 38:4). "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens" (Psalm 68:19). "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Oversize loadWe've all seen the trucks with the caution sign, "Oversize Load". I was visiting with some employees at Smucker Laser, a shop that cuts large sheets of metal using laser. They had made some oversize load signs for trucks and one had a defect and was now just scrap. I knew I could somehow use it for illustrative purposes so with the permission of management I took it home.

I used it as a sermon illustration several weeks ago and it is now on the side of our home as a decoration which I think looks great but I don't think Brooksyne will let it stay there much longer, since her idea of decorations isn't always in line with my creative ideas!
And not just anyone wants to visit our home and be greeted by the sign, "Oversize load" which could lead to various speculations!

Speaking of "oversize load" we all have borne them and surely many of our readers do so now. Consider a person carrying the heavy metal "oversize load" sign on his back, slouched over, bearing the many burdens that weigh people down. We have had them ourselves but today consider the many we have heard through the years in the course of our ministry.
  • The father burdened to tears concerning his wayward daughter. He said to me, "Help me salvage this life."
  • A mother burdened by her son's ongoing addiction struggles.
  • A man struggling to overcome the fiery darts of temptation.
  • A grandmother weighed down by rebellious grandchildren.
  • A wife seeking to hold her family together with little to no support from her irresponsible husband.
  • Parents raising a special needs child. Last night at the ballgame my heart went out to an older man who had brought his significantly disabled adult son to the game. I observed his loving and tender care toward him.
In our chaplaincy a major job description could be "bearing people's burdens". Many days we come home weary from the heartaches we hear. It seems that some people's troubles only go from bad to worse to seemingly unbearable.

My own experience in regard to my burdens is that I tend to set them down (trust) and later pick them up again (doubt). Many will identify with this!

Prayer at chaplain conference 6/25/14Our first daily text shares the heavy burden of sin. "For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me." Thanks be to God through confession and repentance this load can be lifted!

But what about the loads that are just part of life.
And we all sure know about these burdens. Surely we can identify with the Lord's statement that "each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34b). These loads were known by the people in Scripture.

David wrote, "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." In Scripture God often emphasizes the unit of time we call the day. In fact it's the very first unit of time mentioned in the Bible and the most frequently mentioned starting with Genesis 1:14. David was relieved and thankful that each day God bore his burdens. That's a good model for us as well.

A commentary explains the further meaning of the text in this way: "God daily carries us as a manifestation of His protective and sustaining care." Such an interpretation brings to mind a poem written by Mary Stevenson during her teen years in 1936 as she endured major obstacles in her young life,
"Footprints in the Sand".

What assurance His Word brings. Believing friend, God is bearing your burdens today. Through His Word He states,
"Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

He loves you and the trial you are presently enduring matters greatly to Him. He is faithful and He will see you through it! Don't try to shoulder your burdens in your own strength and might, for the increasing load will surely break you. Instead lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross. Jesus will meet you there.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, our faith rests in the finished work of Jesus at Calvary. Because of His tremendous sacrifice our sins are forgiven and a place is reserved for us in heaven. We also find rest from our unending troubles in this life as we respond to Jesus' invitation: "Come to Me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Help us to look to You for needed strength and an overcoming spirit as we daily encounter challenges and ongoing burdens. Our burdens are lifted at Calvary for that is where Jesus bore not only our sins but also our sorrows. Praise be to You, our Father in heaven, who daily bears our burdens.  Amen.

"Take Me Out To The Ballgame!"

Last night we attended the home opener for our local minor league baseball team, the Lancaster Barnstormers.

Barnstormer opening game 4/30/15
Nathan and Neville, our new friends from Zimbabwe, attended their very first ball game. The pace was much slower than soccer but they watched intently and enjoyed the experience.

Barnstormer opening game 4/30/15
There was lots of ceremony last night before the game since the Barnstormers won the league championship last year and the game was 45 minutes late in starting. That's worked in our favor because the fans got free tickets for a later game since they had to cancel the fireworks!

Barnstormer opening game 4/30/15
Of course Ester had to take a "selfie"

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jesus Will Meet You There"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman An excellent video presentation of a song I (Brooksyne) heard for the first time this morning. It will touch your heart. Great photos with lyrics from the song and Chapman's crystal clear vocal will speak to you and others you might drive to the site who are going through difficulty. He touches on many heartbreaking subjects such as failures, illness, imprisonment, etc.

"Tears Are A Language God Understands"  Video  Gordon Jensen This was a popular song when we were in college. Gordon Jensen is several years older than us. From a blog article written a couple of years ago I learned that "he averages about one hundred and fifty personal appearances each year. His tours have taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, The West Indies, Scandinavia, Europe, Africa and India. After learning how busy Gordon Jensen is, I can tell you from the brief time I’ve talked with him, that Jensen is sincere about his passion for the Lord in his ministry. I started into this conversation a little on the nervous side, but by the time I ended the phone call it was like I was speaking with one of my best friends. It is an honor and privilege to do this article on one of the giants in Gospel Music."

God sees the tears of a broken hearted soul.
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall.
God weeps along with man and takes him by the hand,
Tears are a language God understands.

Often you've wondered why tears come into your eyes,
And burdens seem to be much more than you can stand.
But God is standing near He sees your falling tears.
Tears are a language God understands.

When grief has left you low it causes tears to flow,
Things have not turned out the way that you had planned,
But God won't forget you, His promises are true,
Tears are a language God understands.

"Lay Your Burden Down"  Video  Chuck Girard

"Lay Your Burdens Down"  Video  Great song, musicians not specified

"Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary"  Video  Collingsworth Family

"He Knows My Name"  Video  Tommy Walker

"I Cast All My Cares Upon You"  Video  Kelly Willard  We recall singing this chorus for many years. This version is especially nice as I sense the earnestness in Kelly's voice.

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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