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June 27, 2018

Conewago Lake, Mount Gretna, Lebanon County, PA 6/26/18 (Click to enlarge)
Early yesterday morning on the way to a chaplain visit in Lebanon County we drove through Mount Gretna and saw this nice view of Lake Conewago.

"The Value Of The Plodder"

Message summary: Friend, don't be deterred by the difficulties of life, but plod on, one step at a time.

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"So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD." (Hosea 6:3a) "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

PloddingToday let us consider the value of a plodder. In regard to walking it means one who moves heavily or trudges laboriously. But in a more expanded meaning it is to work or act perseveringly. A negative aspect that I reject states, "thorough and hard-working but lacking in imagination or intelligence." Granted, that in a sense plodders may not be visionary or they lack in inspiration, but there's no reason to assert they lack intelligence!

The older you get in life the more your appreciation grows for plodders. We've met many, such as the late Jim Scanlon. He wrote, "I have always been a 'plodder', not interested in making the headlines, just following my Shepherd."

Another plodder we are blessed by is
our Texan friend, David Penley, who in spite of some severe health setbacks in life, plods on. He wrote, "The importance of simple, persistent, every day faith is so vital."

Warren Wiersbe wrote a book, "In Praise of Plodders". "Plodders are those who labor with determination and drive--whether pastor, teacher, choir director, or counselor."

Wiersbe writes, "The word “plod” comes from a Middle English word that means "a puddle.” A "plodder" is someone who is willing to get his feet wet and wade through water and mud to get to his destination. He or she keeps going! History shows us that it is the plodders who finally make it. "By perseverance," said Spurgeon, "the snail reached the ark." In this age of fast food, digests and quick fixes, plodding is not held in high esteem; but it is still the plodders who are getting things done, a day at a time, a step at a time. William Carey sums it up well, “I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.”  

PloddingAesop wrote, "Plodding wins the race."

Plodding, in a sense, is analogous to the term "pressing on" in our daily texts. God dispenses His grace while conforming us to His image all along the way. Many of us have been on this journey for decades but initially knew little of the ensuing battle the enemy would launch to recapture our soul, and yet we plod on mile by mile, knowing that God's strength, power and abiding Holy Spirit will take us forward to our heavenward goal.

In comparing our journey to running a race the apostle Paul reminds us to keep our eyes on the prize, lest the arduous and wearying race causes us to stumble and cry out, "It's hopeless!"

Our journey of faith may at times seem daunting. The indefinite aspect of the "future" reward may weary us and can easily fade from our view. But we encourage you to just keep plodding on one step at a time.

There are three songs that speak of "ten thousand years", a time span that seems practically unimaginable. One is a famous old hymn, one is a gospel song and another a very popular contemporary song. Each use the "ten thousand year" perspective to show how long eternity will be in comparison to the relative shortness of life here as we know it now.

Friend, don't be deterred by the difficulties of life, but plod on, one step at a time. Your future reward lies just ahead.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when we begin our journey with You, we're uncertain of all that lies ahead. We're told in Scripture that if we walk with Christ old things have passed away, and all things have become new. That's because we now align our thoughts and actions according to Scripture; we begin to see through the eyes of Christ; and we press on to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus so that we will receive our future eternal reward laid up for us already in heaven. Keep us steadily plodding, trusting, while also being fruitful as we press on in the faith. Through Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.

Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (May 24, 1870 – July 9, 1938) was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He wrote, "In truth, I am nothing but a plodding mediocrity — please observe, a plodding mediocrity — for a mere mediocrity does not go very far, but a plodding one gets quite a distance. There is joy in that success, and a distinction can come from courage, fidelity and industry."

Donkeys in Lebanon County 6/26/18
We pass a field of donkeys every Tuesday morning in Lebanon County. Sometimes we get out of our car and "hee haw" them till we get their attention! There are dog houses for dogs and then there are donkey houses for donkeys.

Risser Mill Road garden, Lancaster County, PA 6/26/18 (Click to enlarge)
On the way home yesterday afternoon we passed by one of our favorite gardens on Risser Mill Road near Mount Joy. We lived only about a mile from this house in 2001 and admired the beautiful pristine garden planted each summer. Every summer we pass by this garden and yesterday I got out and took photos. Lo and behold, the owner was standing behind me in an upper deck so I briefly got acquainted with him. He has been living at this residence and planting his summer garden since 1975; his first garden he planted at 8 years of age!

Risser Mill Road garden, Lancaster County, PA 6/26/18 (Click to enlarge)
Beautiful lilies give a nice splash of color to his vegetable garden. Even the tomato stakes are perfectly spaced and all the same height! A real inspiration to other gardeners.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

In Praise of Plodders: Warren Wiersbe

As a blogger this is an interesting article by Tim Challies, "A Call for Plodding Bloggers"

These are the three songs that have "ten thousand years" in the lyrics:

"Ten Thousand Years"  Video  Ernie Haase and Homecoming Singers

Soon I'll come to the end of life's journey,
And I'll meet the one who gave His life for me;
I want to thank Him for the love that He gave me;
And ten thousand years, and more, I'll praise His name.

"Ten Thousand Reasons"  Video  Matt Redmon

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

"Amazing Grace"  Video  Various Homecoming singers

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun!

Finally today:
Scarecrow in Lebanon County 6/26/18
This vegetable farmer in Lebanon County has found an interesting use for an attention grabbing product often seen at used car dealerships. Can you guess what he is using it for?
(Place mouse over photo for answer)

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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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