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Friday, November 4, 2016

Trail walk 11/3/16
The fleeting beauty of Autumn!
The tree foliage is already starting to thin out with the falling leaves stacking up on our favorite walking trail across the field from our house. You gotta watch out, though, since there are many walnut trees along the trail dropping lots of large walnuts. It's very easy to roll an ankle if you're not careful!

"Lead Me In A Straight Path"

Message Summary: Today let us focus our attention on that which lies ahead as we stretch toward the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. Let us make a renewed resolve in our hearts to stay on the straight way, not veering to the right or the left.

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"Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path" (Psalm 27:11). "They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness" (2 Peter 2:15).

Tommy Carpenter
Facebook and other social media have provided a means for people to express their views, often sharing way more than many really care to know! Some use it as a diary of their daily activities posting numerous times throughout the day and updating their status frequently. Others share family news and photos of interest.

There are many who use these platforms to express their faith. Our friend, Tommy Carpenter, often posts his original thought-provoking missives demonstrating a seasoned and steadfast walk with the Lord. Richard Dresselhaus, whom we met in California last month, has a similar approach with a daily message titled "One For The Road".* Both served in pastoral roles for most of their adult years.

But for some their Facebook postings reveal a sad departure from the faith. I consider a younger couple from our church associations in past years who have gone off the rails of sound doctrine. It seems they have, to use a phrase from today's text, "wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness." Or at the very least they lend support and voice to many public figures who choose the way of darkness. Highlighting statements and articles that are in direct contrast to biblical teaching is disturbing, to say the least.

David's prayer in Psalm 27:11 should be a daily prayer of ours as well, "Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path." The NASV renders it "Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path."

Throughout the Bible following the straight way or straight path is emphasized. Proverbs 11:5 states, "The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness." John the Baptist came to "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him." And we often paraphrase the words of our Lord Jesus in regard to living by "the straight and narrow way". (This is taken from a phrase in Matthew 7:14.)

But in the second daily text the Apostle Peter speaks of those who "have left the straight way." Leaving the straight way leaves one soul in a sad and often conflicted state. Today we will all make decisions and be confronted with temptations of various sorts to leave the straight way. Our enemy wants to throw in a few curves that steer us off the straight way. Many continue to wander off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, and love the wages of wickedness.

Balaam is a prophet mentioned in Numbers most famously for having a conversation with a donkey. He did not have a consistent walk with the Lord but rather wavered in his loyalties and commitment.

"Doctrine is important - Balaam's doctrine polluted their mind and led to their unrighteous acts. False teachers are master purveyors of false doctrine. We desperately need churches where the pastors are teaching sound doctrine to renew minds able to identify and resist false doctrine that is creeping into even the most conservative evangelical churches." (Note from Precept Austin online commentary)

Today let us focus our attention on that which lies ahead as we stretch toward the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. Let us make a renewed resolve in our hearts to stay on the straight way, not veering to the right or the left.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  You've given us the roadmap to follow through the guidance of Your Holy Scriptures. You've established that Your way is the only way to eternal life. It is the only way that we can have victory in our walk here on earth and the assurance of a victorious eternity in heaven. Just as John the Baptist went before You preparing straight paths, I thank You for going before me preparing the way for my journey. Though Scripture describes the Christian's walk as being a straight and narrow path it certainly has steep inclines and its route will also take me through deep valleys. If I wander off-course I'm grateful for Your Holy Spirit who reminds me of my commitment to follow You and the importance of my example to those who walk beside me or behind me. Let us not veer from our heavenly destination. Amen.

Tommy Carpenter's most recent post:

“Submission to GOD’S will, as a quality choice in my life, will make other less important choices either easy or non-existent at all. “THY will be done IN earth,” must start in me, for that is my responsibility toward the LORD of my life. I must settle this important matter as to who will be my LORD. I cannot call JESUS LORD if I do not obey HIS will."

Today, I am committing myself to draw nearer to GOD for the task of interceding prayer and supplication on behalf of others who need to hear and heed the SAVIOR’S invitation to, “Come unto ME, all you that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest!”

Richard Dresselhaus' most recent post:

Playing God. That’s a very sinful game.

It happens whenever someone takes the credit for something God has done.

Learn from Paul and Barnabas. A cripple is healed…and the crowd rushes in to declare they are gods – Zeus and Hermes.

But…these two men of God tore their clothes and shouted: “We too are only human, like you.”

So…how should the servants of the Lord respond to God’s power? By never forgetting they are human.

Sadly…some who have been witnesses to the supernatural have allowed themselves to receive honor due only to God.

That’s playing God.

Do what the apostles did. Act with humility…and declare your humanity.

No confusion then.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"It's Still The Cross"  Video 
Steve Amerson

Yesterday's scenic photo was taken
by our friend Richard Spiegel at Harpers Ferry West Virginia.

Finally today:

John Kurtz 11/3/16
We enjoy seeing many products being made in the various companies we visit in the course of our chaplaincy. Can you identify what John is assembling in this photo?

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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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