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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Morning glories 8/30/17 (Ester Weber)
Morning glories on our backyard fence.

"Blooming In A Hard Place"

Message summary: Today we want to encourage our readers who live or serve in what may seem like a dark place. Some of us plant, others water but God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). And the God who ultimately gives blooming ability to the morning glory in our dark garden shed will also bring growth and blooming wherever you are, even if it's a dark place, if You look to Him for strength, light, and persistence!

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"You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness" (1 Thessalonians 5:4). "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19).

Like many of you we continue to pray regarding the flooding in Texas. We link to an article, "Heroes In Houston", which captures a compilation of photos and videos that show people doing good in hard place. Those who are not considering their own needs first but instead are reaching out to those in even more dire circumstances are surely blooming even in the midst of flood waters. Their fruit is seen by others, welcomed by most, and will leave a lasting impact on the lives they touch by their compassionate actions. These people are blooming in hard places!

The Morning Glories are prolific around our place even though Brooksyne hasn't planted any for many years. Through the years we've (mostly Brooksyne) has pulled them up like weeds since they invade many areas of our other plantings. We are blessed not only by flowers that Brooksyne intentionally plants all around our home but "volunteers", like the morning glories, (Ipomoea purpurea) spring up wherever we happen to dispose of the clippings, or wherever the wind blows the seed. We have them growing along our fence and on our mail box. Some of our clippings make their way to the farm road across from our house along the front row of corn. They demonstrate resourcefulness and persistence.

Morning glories in garden shedThese plants have not benefitted from Brooksyne's feeding, watering or weeding, yet they grow; blooming where they are planted providentially by God, usually in the full sun, demonstrating the character quality of perseverance. We have even had volunteers brightening up the interior of our garden shed, blooming in a very dark place until we open the door or turn on the light. Morning Glories have a tendency to thrive and bloom in hard places.

"Bloom Where You're Planted" is a quote  that give the sense that we are to let God use us and seek to be fruitful wherever we find ourselves.  At times we may be providentially planted where we would rather not be, sometimes in what sure seems like dark places. A true test of character is whether we bloom or wither in these difficult places.

Peter does not specifically identify the "dark place" in our second daily text. It seems most natural however to view this dark place as the world, the way it presently exists. Peter is likely using "dark place" as a metaphor to describe this corrupt world system. However "advanced" our secular civilization becomes, this world in its willful rebellion to God (whose essence is light), lies in the darkness of sin, ignorance, despair and death which keeps people from seeing God's truth until His light shines into their hearts. (Precept Austin commentary)

Warren WiersbeBible teacher Warren Wiersbe makes this comment regarding the Greek word "auchmeros", used here for dark. It "is the picture of a dank cellar or a dismal swamp. Human history began in a lovely garden, but that garden today is a murky swamp. What you see when you look at this world system is an indication of the spiritual condition of your heart. We still see beauty in God’s creation, but we see no beauty in what mankind is doing with God’s creation. Peter did not see this world as a Garden of Eden, nor should we."

Today we want to encourage our readers who live or serve in what may seem like a dark place. Some of us plant, others water but God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). And the God who ultimately gives blooming ability to the morning glory in our dark garden shed will also bring growth and blooming wherever you are, even if it's a dark place, if You look to Him for strength, light, and persistence!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You that You shine Your light through us and often in unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves. We are to let our lights shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify You in heaven. There are times when we cry out, "No More! I just can't do this anymore." But, Father, in Your infinite wisdom You give us daily strength and spiritual resolve to carry on in the darkest of circumstances so that the light of Christ might be made manifest in our lives. We want to carry the light of Your salvation through our words, our actions, and the way in which we seek to be fruitful and bloom where we are planted. It's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.

See here for a prayer we posted yesterday concerning the Texas flooding.

Morning glories 8/30/17 (Ester Weber)
These morning glories have completely covered our mailbox from behind. We keep the front cut back so we can receive mail.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Brighten the Corner Where You Are"  Video  The Statesmen Quartet

This article, "Heroes In Houston", captures a compilation of photos and videos of people doing good to others and blooming in a hard place.

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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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