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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Lebanon County farm 10/31/17
On Tuesday we passed this farm nestled up to the mountain ridge in rural Lebanon County.

"A Daily Outlook"

Message summary: Let us live each day with the Scriptural outlook that, "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it"!

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"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

Bird In Hand Farmer's Market
The other day we were visiting the Bird In Hand Farmer's Market and bought a cup of coffee from "Auntie Ruthie's" coffee stand. Auntie Ruthie is a friendly, middle-aged Amish woman that we enjoyed talking with and, as seems to be typical in the Amish community here in Lancaster County, she knew several Amish friends of ours.

Auntie Ruthie brought to mind my own Aunt Ruth.

I had a lot of aunts on my mother’s side. My mom had five sisters along with one older brother. Each of them lived well into their 80's and 90's before their deaths. My mom's oldest sister was Anita Ruth. Her siblings called her "Sis" but we cousins referred to her as "Aunt Ruth" who lived in Windsor, a tiny town in west central Missouri near the village of Tightwad. She went to be with the Lord about twenty years ago, living well into her nineties.

As she aged Aunt Ruth became more and more forgetful but remained spry and witty to the end.  When I went to Kansas City to visit my mom we would drive down to see Aunt Ruth, who lived in a nursing home at the time. She was so pleased when we walked into her room. She'd grip me tightly around the neck as I stooped down to hug her  while repeating over and over, "It's so good to see you. Darlin'".  Her gnarled fingers were usually donned with gaudy costume rings, which only added to her colorful, rather eccentric personality.

Vintage soft drink dispenser
As she and Mom visited I'd stop in at the local barbershop since I like to get my hair cut in old-fashioned, small town barber shops. It was really old-fashioned, similar to Floyd's Barber Shop on the Andy Griffith show. He still had one of those soft drink dispensers like those used in the sixties.

While the barber was cutting my hair I asked him if he knew Ruth Campbell. He paused for a moment and then clarified, "You mean Anita Ruth?" It turns out that she had been his Sunday School teacher when he was four or five and he most certainly remembered her. In fact he was still attending the same church.

Psalm 118:24
Aunt Ruth's favorite Bible verse was, "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." She said it all the time and I sure miss hearing her say it.* To this day most of my cousins will identify this verse with Aunt Ruth. Back in the eighties we sang many Scripture verses verbatim. This verse was one of them and I've no doubt that many of you have sung it!

Sometimes we overlook the power in some verses due to their familiarity.

In his book "Shadows on the Wall", devotional writer F. W. Boreham told of preaching in a particular church during his college days. He stayed at "Old" Bessie's house (as she was referred to), the elderly widow of the former pastor, and Boreham was given the room she normally occupied.

He rose the next morning and threw open the blinds. There, etched in the glass, were the words, “THIS IS THE DAY.” At breakfast he asked her about it. She explained, “I had a lot of trouble in my time, and I am a great one to worry. I was always afraid of what was going to happen tomorrow. And each morning when I woke up I felt as though I had the weight of the world upon me. Then one day, when I was very upset about things, I sat down and read my Bible. It happened that I was reading the 118th Psalm. When I came to the 24th verse, I stopped. "This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it...." It flashed upon me like a burst of sunshine on a gloomy day.

Snatching up a glass-cutting tool from the kitchen, I ran upstairs and scrawled the words on the windowpane. “There!” I thought. “Now I shall see that little bit of Bible every morning when I draw up the blind, and I will say to myself, ‘This is the day!...’”

Let us live each day with the Scriptural outlook that,
"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it"!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path. I pray that the light of Your Word shines forth not only in my path, but spreads out to those nearby. As I meditate, memorize and endear Your Word to my heart I pray that meaningful Scripture will be a natural outflow of who I am becoming through Christ. In honoring Your Word the power of Your Holy Spirit uses Scripture to bring conviction, instruction, and inspiration. Help me to be faithful in reading and engrafting Your Word to my heart so that I consistently and earnestly contend for the faith no matter the difficulty or temptation I face this day, on the day that You have made. Amen.

I consider how other people in my life are known for Scripture verses they often quote or inspirational thoughts they cherish. What about you? Do you have a life's verse or a verse you often refer to or are known for?

I think of my truck driver chaplain friend, Bunny O'Hare, who rarely greets me or calls me without asking, "Has anyone told you today that Jesus loves you?" Almost always, my answer is "no" which gives him an opportunity to remind me of that glorious blessing.

Perhaps you'd like to consider a verse that affirms or directs your life's message! Thank God for the power of Scripture.

* Aunt Ruth became a widow relatively young and for a number of years was a house mother on secular college campuses in the sixties and seventies. Mary Frances, a cousin of mine, recalls her colorful personality when she attended the University of Nebraska and had her own Aunt as a house mother. It's hard to imagine getting by with this in our own day but she would often wake the girls up by pulling back their covers and quoting Psalm 118:24. I don't think all of them always appreciated their wake up call, but Mary Frances looks back on it with great fondness toward her Aunt Ruth.

Some more scenes from our travels Tuesday

Moonshine Road in Lebanon County 10/31/17
Moonshine Road

Lebanon County farm 10/31/17
This farm sets far off the road in southern Lebanon County. The large barns often make the farm houses look quite small, though that is not the case in this photo.

Colebrook Road, Lebanon County 10/31/17
Colebrook Road crossing the last ridge right before entering Lancaster County.

Martin farm pond 10/31/17 (Click to enlarge)
The Martin pond

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Stand Redeemed
Video  Legacy Five

I am very geographically inclined and curious. Mentioning the barber shop in Windsor, Mo I found it on the Google map!

This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made
by Isaac Watts

This is the day the Lord hath made;
He calls the hours His own;
Let Heav’n rejoice, let earth be glad,
And praise surround the throne.

Today He rose and left the dead,
And Satan’s empire fell;
Today the saints His triumphs spread,
And all His wonders tell.

Hosanna to the anointed King,
To David’s holy Son;
Help us, O Lord; descend and bring
Salvation from Thy throne.

Blest be the Lord, who comes to men
With messages of grace;
Who comes in God His Father’s Name,
To save our sinful race.

Hosanna in the highest strains
The Church on earth can raise;
The highest heav’ns, in which He reigns,
Shall give Him nobler praise.

Or for a lighter,
But still uplifting version,
Sing along with the little children
This is day that the Lord has made!

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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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