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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hoffman Farm on Colebrook Road 04/18/16

A view of the pristine Hoffman Farm near our home

"Foxes Have Holes"

Message Summary:
We who follow Jesus must do so without reservation. The riches, recognition and comforts in this life God never promised. In fact we must be willing to die to selfish ambition and vain conceits if we are to follow Christ in the humility which pleases Him. Are we willing to do that today?

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Yellow fox "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head" (Matthew 8:19,20). "But He gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant" (Philippians 2:7). "We through His poverty are made rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

One of the most elusive animals in our neighborhood is the fox. They find shelter along the old hedge row across from our house where we periodically see one darting across the field. They have a very distinctive bark (listen here for a 10 second video) and at times can be heard all the way across the other side of the large field recently harvested. It's just one of the many interesting sounds of the country.

Fox holeI took a photo of the fox hole to the left. As I approached it I heard a loud barking sound from the field and looked to see an adult fox running off through the field. I assume she was the mother who was threatened by my presence and perhaps the pups were tucked away safely in their den. I tried to stir them but to no avail.

The fox hole calls to mind the first daily verse. I don't recall ever specifically trying to memorize it but when you see a fox hole this verse pops into your mind!
Jesus used the illustration to reinforce the seriousness and cost of discipleship.

A scribe (religious leader) had come to Him and said, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go." Our Lord tests the sincerity of the scribe's level of commitment by warning him that He was so poor that beasts of the fields and birds of the air have nicer accommodations than He Himself had. "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."

The point seems to be that if the popular leader fared so badly, what was the follower to expect? How great was the humiliation of our Lord and King! He had no royal palace, no silken canopy. He who created the universe and provides for the needs of His human creation had no family looking for Him at the end of the day with a warm meal sitting on the dining table, not because of their unwillingness but out of compassion He chose to go to the hurting, lonely, and sin-sick people in far away places. No memory foam pillow or select comfort mattress to comfortably lay at bedtime.

2 Corinthians 8:9 Jesus' statement reveals His poverty from an earthly viewpoint; and yet "we through His poverty are made rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). We are not told if the scribe chose to follow Jesus after this outright disclosure; but the strong implication is that he did not. Perhaps, like the rich young ruler, he found the conditions too rigorous, nothing warm and fuzzy about Jesus' living conditions. No bonus provided or awards banquet guaranteed if the scribe converted a certain number of souls to the kingdom. No pension fund thrown into the offer.

We who follow Jesus must do so without ulterior motive. The riches, recognition and comforts in this life God never promised. In fact we must be willing to die to selfish ambition and vain conceits if we are to follow Christ in the humility which pleases Him. Are we willing to do so today?

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have given us the greatest example of a humble spirit in the person of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who had nowhere to lay His head.  He went to where the needs were rather than the place where comforts awaited Him. This is most especially expressed when He gave up His position in heaven where Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with You something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, He was made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! From the heights of the heavens to the depths of the earth we submit our will and our attitudes to Your conformity through Christ our Lord in whose name we pray.  Amen.

Robin eggs in nest 4/28/16
Although our theme today was based on a fox hole in the text Jesus also stated the "birds of the air have nests". We have lots of bird activity right now and just this morning I got on a ladder and pointed my phone into a robin's nest built in the eves of our barn overhang.

Hoffman Farm on Colebrook Road 04/18/16
The Hoffman Farm is a small, tidy farm we often pass along Colebrook Road. Last week Brooksyne stopped to take some photos since the creeping phlox was outstanding as it trailed along the white fencing. Jim Hoffman who resides at the 24 acre farm, his father having purchased it in 1947, came out to meet her and seemed rather pleased to have his place featured online.

 Hoffman Farm on Colebrook Road 04/18/16

Here's a good repurposing of Jim's old work boots as hanging planters! To the far left you can see some baby shoes strung over the pipe as well.

Village Farm Market flowers 4/27/16
Yesterday we stopped by the Village Farm market and saw the beautiful assortment of flowers that are fully stocked!

Amish boys riding horses on Junction Trail
Amish boys riding horses on Junction Trail.

Eric with hunting dog
Eric is an engineer in one of our companies and an avid hunter. He has this photo of him and his hunting dog on his computer desktop background. It looks to me like it could be on the cover of "Field and Stream". Notice how the dog is staring right into the camera!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"He Became Poor
"  Video  Dámaris Carbaugh

"On the Other Side"  Video  Dailey & Vincent

"Men Made Rich by the Poverty of Christ" a sermon by CH Spurgeon

Revivaltime Radio:  Some of our older readers may remember the weekly airing of Revivaltime with speaker C.M. Ward and the Revivaltime Choir led by Cyril McClellan. This morning I came across a Facebook page for our now defunct Bible College. It was thriving in the seventies with over 1,000 students when we attended. Our college was known for the nationally aired "Revivaltime Choir". I didn't have vocal ability so never would have considered trying out. Brooksyne came from a very rural setting in Oklahoma and had no formal musical training whatsoever, thus never attempted to join. The Revivaltime choir was made up each year of a rather elite group of singers. To try out for the choir they were required to be able to sing a song given to them simply by reading the notes, never having heard it played musically beforehand. Few people can do that unless they've had good training!  A class member has posted many of the Revivaltime Choir songs and we came across his site today. We enjoyed listening to several of the old songs this morning and hope this one will open up for you. In our dated opinion we felt the choir looked and sounded great in the mid-sixties, about ten years before our time there. Their voices were very well trained and each word sung with clarity.  "Wonderful Grace Of Jesus" Here's one we think was closer to our time. "The Longer I Serve Him"

It was after our college days that Brooksyne developed her musical giftings, piano & choir directing, since there was a great need for that in the churches we served about 30 years all total, and even presently in the church we attend.

Finally today:

Field prep on Kraybill Church Road 4/27/16
Yesterday we shared photos of the Rye harvest earlier this week in the field across from our home. As predicted the next activity was some necessary field prep, the spreading of animal waste fertilizer. Yesterday afternoon they used a method known as a drag line with a large hose running all the way to the manure pit from the large farm behind our house through several farm fields and under two roads through drainage pipes. The material is pumped through the hose to the tractor. Thankfully we don't have any odors and projected rain tends to quickly soak the raw material into the ground. We won't have this application again until fall after the corn harvest.

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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.

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