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Monday, May 23, 2016

Bearded-tongue Iris at Rehoboth Beach 5/22/16
Jackie's beautiful rain-splattered Bearded Tongue Iris

"Kill The Mouse!"

Message Summary:
We do well to seriously heed the words of the Holy Scripture. What unwholesome or harmful matter(s) are you playing around with? We appeal to you, take decisive action and put it to death. Kill the mouse!

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"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5).

This last weekend we loaded our bikes with the intent of biking many miles on the bucolic trails of the Delaware shore near Rehoboth Beach and then on to Assateague Island in Maryland. It was beautiful when we left Friday afternoon but beginning Saturday morning we had rain from early morning until bedtime! We turned in hoping that we might awaken to a much nicer day Sunday morning though the rain-filled forecast was undeniable. Unfortunately it proved to be 100% accurate. Our wishful thinking began to evaporate with the steady stream of rainfall that fell outside the church walls where we gathered for worship yesterday morning.

Still a wee bit hopeful we joined friends for lunch, but as we left Cracker Barrel even our exhausted windshield wipers cried out, "Enough, already!" So we headed back to our "home away from home", packed up quickly, and headed home yesterday afternoon. We still had a good time as we always do when we visit Rehoboth Beach. Our bikes got a super wash, though their only work-out was bouncing up and down on the rear bike rack as the van drove on uneven surfaces.

We stayed at a friend's place which had been closed up through the winter.  When Brooksyne was making up the bed late Friday evening I heard a distinctive shriek and being married 40 years I immediately knew just what it was. She had pulled back the bed spread and discovered a large pile of acorns and other evidence of mice.

We were reluctant to inform our friends but decided they would want to know since more guests will follow over the summer months.
They were grateful that we informed them and of course were embarrassed and apologized for our experience. They had just had a professional cleaning group come in a day or two before our arrival and expected that they had done a thorough job as they were hired to do. Being a reader of daily encouragement the owner chuckled as he elbowed me and said, "I suppose you'll get a lesson out of this!" Indeed we have.  (He gives us permission to share this story!)

When we informed the homeowners they had a mouse problem they didn't mess around
but sprang into action to correct the problem. We determined the mice were probably coming in through a small crack in the front door seal so he is going to repair that. Within two hours of our notifying him of the problem he placed ultrasonic repellents at the electrical outlets and the next day set mouse traps, just in case the first strategy failed. He pulled out the "big guns" to once and for all eradicate the destructive little critter(s).

Likewise, this is the attitude we must have toward sin and we must heed the apostle Paul's forthright words in our daily text: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5).

We consider a friend who "played around" with a certain matter in his life. Initially it seemed harmless with few consequences. (Satan's devices are always portrayed as "harmless" and he's a master at masquerading or completely obscuring the consequences). But in time the matter grew until it became more and more gripping and eventually it captivated him and became a very destructive force in his life.

Spider web
A man whose addictive habit was hindering his fellowship with God and hurting his Christian testimony prayed that God would forgive him for his addiction—but he didn't stop sinning!

He is like the man who often went forward at the end of church services to kneel and pray, "'Lord, take the cobwebs out of my life.' One Sunday morning his pastor, tired of hearing the same old prayer, knelt beside him and cried out, 'Lord, kill the spider!'"

It often takes radical action to break a sinful habit. We need to do more than ask God for cleansing each time we succumb to temptation. We must take whatever steps are needed to get the cobwebs out of our life. We must confess our sin and determine to be done with it. Then we must feed our mind with God's Word and do all we can to stay away from the people, reading material, or places that tempt us to sin. That's what Christ likely meant when He said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out" (Matthew 5:29). Kill the mouse and you'll get rid of the mouse droppings. Remember this important distinction: admitting the sin is no substitute for eradicating the sin.

We do well to seriously heed the words of the Holy Scripture. What unwholesome or harmful matter(s) are you playing around with? We appeal to you, take decisive action and put it to death. Kill the mouse!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I ask you to help me to be serious about dealing with everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles me. Help me not to play around with these matters that hold me captive and bring destruction. Put to death any desire or behavior which resurrects my earthly nature. I want to be separated from that which is evil and wholly consecrated to You. It is in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Clematis at Rehoboth Beach 5/22/16
Lavendar Clematis accenting the railing of the deck where we stayed.

Rhododendren bloom at Rehoboth Beach 5/22/16
Rhododendren bloom at Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach 5/20/16
Due to the rain we only saw the ocean twice this trip. But we feel obliged to share an ocean photo! Here's a view at Rehoboth Beach late Friday evening from the boardwalk before the rains came. Often when we first see the ocean we recall Sister Sutherland, a dear elderly lady in our very first church near Fair Grove Missouri who loved a hymn called "Like a Mighty Sea". Beulah and her husband Tracy were farmers who as we recall had never seen the ocean.

Rick and Jackie Steudler 5/22/16
Rick and Jackie Steudler, our gracious hosts who joined us for lunch at Cracker Barrel. We always have a great visit with them, laughing together as well as talking about the good things of the Lord and His goodness to us.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice"  Video  Keith Green

"Create in Me a Clean Heart"  Video  Keith Green

"He Rescued Me"  Video  Red Mountain Church

"All I Have Is Christ"  Video  Sovereign Grace Music

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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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