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Friday, April 27, 2018

Lapp Valley farmhouse 4/26/18 (Click to enlarge)
The Lapp Valley Farm is near New Holland PA. Yesterday we stopped by for ice cream made of fresh Jersey milk.  Hmm Hmm good!
Click on photo to enlarge

"A Lesson From The Hard-Working Farmer"

Message summary: Our word of encouragement to you today is to thank God for all who are expressing obedience to God by engaging in productive work that benefits society.

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"The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops" (2 Timothy 2:6).

It seems like spring has finally arrived in our part of the world! We had a beautiful day yesterday and our chaplaincy visitation took us through rural eastern Lancaster County. We have seen an increase in field work as farmers prepare for and in some cases begin planting. Although some seasons, such as planting time, are busier than others, there's always work to do on a farm!

Amish team field work near White Horse, PA 4/26/18
Yesterday we passed this Amish farmer working the field near White Horse, PA

In today's portion of Scripture Paul uses three vocations to illustrate Christian service; the soldier, athlete and farmer. The Bible uses timeless illustrations that span all times and cultures. After all, we still have soldiers, athletes and farmers and virtually anywhere the Bible is read we can identify with these three vocations, although living in the midst of a farming area makes the third example particularly relevant to us.

In regard to the farmer we have this descriptive adjective, "hardworking". We drive by farms where the Amish still work the fields with horse teams. We have a neighbor who farms the old-fashioned way and it's a very interesting sight. We also drive by many farms using the latest in farming equipment. One thing is for sure; regardless of the variety or sophistication of the equipment, farmers work very hard!

Today let us all give thanks to God for the farmer. In our home we tend to be specific when we give thanks for our food considering not only God's blessing but the specific labor and laborers that went into getting that food to our table. We encourage our readers to do the same and consider that it most certainly involved some vision, expense, and hard labor.

Our word of encouragement to you today is to thank God for all who are expressing obedience to God by engaging in productive work that benefits society. And before you judge or criticize anyone (particularly farmers) consider the contribution they are making to your life! A sign along a rural farm road caught my attention, "Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full." If you consume anything edible today it is a result of some type of farming effort. Call this to mind as you thank God for your food before eating.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for the diligent farmers who work the soil, plant the seeds, and then await the germination and growth of the seeds planted. It's all a work of faith since many crucial factors are out of their control; too much rain or lack thereof, the proper growing temperatures, disease and harmful insects can make or break the harvest, and catastrophic storms can affect the fields for this season and the next . So we thank you for those who year after year toil in the fields to provide healthy, vibrant and delicious foods to fill our plates. It's generally a family effort so we pray Your blessings upon the entire family as they work together to make a very productive contribution to our well-being. We also give thanks for our spiritual leaders who contribute to our spiritual well-being, who work hard at feeding our souls. They, too, deal with troubling elements out of their control following their seed planting, so faith and persistence are key tools in the results of their labor and future harvest. Bless them, their families, and give them fruit for their labor, we pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Val-Co pinewood derby 4/26/18
Yesterday the employees at Val-Co had a Pinewood Derby after lunch with various themed cars. Val-Co manufactures equipment for agriculture and we should also be thankful for people who do this type of work.

Steel-wheeled tractor 4/26/18
We see all kinds of farming methods here in Lancaster County from old to modern. This steel-wheeled tractor is used by certain types of old-order groups. According to the Welcome to Lancaster organization, some Amish bishops have determined farm tractors may be used only if they are refitted with steel wheels. That way they cannot be relied on for on-road transportation which can lead to acceptance of the automobile.

Weavertown Coach Shop, Lancaster County, PA 4/26/18
The Weavertown Coach Shop makes carriages (buggies) and sells them off the lot. This Amishman is loading his new buggie onto a trailer so I assume he lives too far away to use a horse.

Lapp Valley Farm jersey calf, Lancaster County, PA 4/26/18
A Lapp Valley Farm Jersey calf. Brooksyne and I were impressed with how much the calves resemble deer.

Lapp Valley Farm jersey calf, Lancaster County, PA 4/26/18
This one seems to be saying, "Hey Buster, what 'cha lookin' at?"

Gibble Road sheep, Lancaster County, PA 4/26/18
We passed these four sheep grazing in a pasture on Gibble Road up the road from our home yesterday.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Yesterday we stopped by what has become Brooksyne's favorite thrift shop in tiny White Horse PA and she excitedly picked up an old song book reminder us of how we used to lead children in singing before all the modern stuff. A giant book with the song, "Happiness Is To Know The Savior". We wonder how many of you remember singing this song? I believe she will pass this book onto the Amish School we occasionally visit.
"Happiness is the know the Savior" book

"Happiness Is To Know The Savior"  Video

A Farmer's Prayer of Thanksgiving
The harvest is finally done
The bins are packed full
Same can’t be said for my wallet
After this year that’s for sure

But the bills are all paid
And the equipment is clean
It’s getting hard to stay awake
But I’m still just living the dream

It may not be worth it
To fight the bad luck and weather
But those things don’t matter much
When the family is back together

After living in the field
Through the harvest and the chores
There’s no better place to be
Than through that front door

I do have quite a lot
Considering how I make a living
My prayers have all been answered
But I’ll save one for Thanksgiving

Dear Lord God in Heaven
Not sure exactly what I did
For a hard working, loving wife
And this house full of kids

Please don’t think for a second
That I have what I deserve
Just know that I am thankful
And it’s You that I’ll continue to serve


(by Ty Higgins - OH ag)

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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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