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Friday, September 21, 2018

Elizabethtown barn art, Lancaster County 9/19/18 (Click to enlarge)
We sure admire the skills of the artist who painted this barn near Elizabethtown, PA
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"The Attractiveness Of Sin"

Message summary: Sin can certainly be attractive and pleasurable, but it's always deadly. The choice before us: Pleasures for a season or Pleasures for all eternity.

to our message on your audio player.

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25).

Spotted lanternfly 9/21/18 (Click to enlarge)Yesterday I was visiting with Linford, who showed me a Spotted lanternfly, which prior to this I had never heard of before. It is an attractive insect as you can see by the photo I took.

But Linford went on to tell me the Spotted lanternfly, although attractive, is actually an invasive and destructive insect causing considerable danger to plants and forests here in southeast, PA. It was recently introduced to the US and is thought to have arrived in 2014 in a shipping container, likely at the Port of Philadelphia, which handles more than 50,000 shipping containers a month. More produce comes through this port than any other in the nation. This article headline states, "Spotted lanternfly battle is on: Can Pennsylvania stop this invasive threat to trees and plants?" (link below)

Stink bugToday let us consider invasive pests in our own lives. Sometimes like the Spotted dragonfly they're attractive, unlike another, rather ugly pest which we have sure have had enough of - the stinkbug! By the way the stinkbug is also believed to have its US origins here in Pennsylvania; the first documented specimen was collected in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in September, 1998. Now we have plenty of them and although I have been known to tease children by stating we put them on pizza as a topping that's not an appetizing notion!

Sin can certainly be attractive and pleasurable. After all, the writer of Hebrews forthrightly refers to "the pleasures of sin". I have an ex-con friend who is an overcoming addict and I asked him to explain to me why partaking of an utterly destructive substance, like heroin, is so appealing. He told me to consider something considered pleasurable that most of us have experienced (he was actually quite explicit), and then to imagine an intensity of pleasure ten times that. Now that would be tempting! In fact his explanation is probably the most helpful I've ever heard regarding the incredible appeal of drugs.

As followers of Christ we can so readily be seduced by the attractiveness of sin. Just as my initial observation of the Spotted lanternfly was "that's sure an attractive bug" so is sin's appeal. As faithful followers of Christ we must ever be on our guard against this seduction. I consider these candid words to the old hymn, "I Must Tell Jesus".

"O how the world to evil allures me,
O how my heart is tempted to sin"

At almost 64 years of age the attraction, appeal, allurement and temptation of sin still beckons so I must daily determine, "I will serve and obey the Lord".

Sadly, a few moments of sinful pleasure is often exchanged for a lifetime of sorrow, scars and regret. Dabbling in sin can lead us where we never intended to go, hold us much longer than we ever planned to stay and hurt more people than we could ever have imagined.

Finally today, let us consider the wonderful joy and lasting pleasures in living for Christ. I can proclaim with the Psalmist, "You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand" (Psalm 16:11). Let us resist the passing "pleasures of sin" and fully embrace the "eternal pleasures" extended to us by our loving Father!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, as we read about Moses we learn a great deal from his act of obedience. His choice to deny himself the enjoyment of the pleasures of sin for a season was foundational to his life. It also provides an example and Biblical foundation for our lives. We've gained so much from the spiritual truths taught through Moses' applied wisdom, his discipline, and his obedience in recording Your truths and principles. Help us not to partake of the forbidden fruit that litters the path of life however attractive and pleasurable it may be. Help us to keep our eyes on the eternal pleasures that await us as we walk in obedience to You. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Village Farm Market, Lancaster County 9/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
We stopped by the Village Farm Market for lunch yesterday and it was in full autumn mode including pumpkin pie.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
This little boy, riding in the back of an Amish pickup, gave us a big wave when we passed.

Logan's desk, Val-Co 9/20/18
Popular now are the adjustable desks that rise so you can stand when you work. Logan, a young engineer at Val-Co, has his entire desk raised on these platforms and uses a high swivel chair when he wants to sit. Pretty nifty in my view!

Logan's desk, Val-Co 9/20/18
Brooksyne visiting with Natalie who was excited about her new desk arrangement which gives plenty of work space!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Jason Crabb 9/20/18Last night Brooksyne and Ester served at a Jason Crabb concert here in Lancaster. We have enjoyed his music for several years and are more familiar with Jason's southern gospel genre. He sang several favorites including "He Knows What He's Doing".  Brooksyne was impressed with the personal approach he had with those who stood in line to greet him. She indicated that his gifting is music with a powerful spiritual message but he also has a preacher's heart full of compassion and truth.

"He Knows What He's Doing"  Video  This is one of our favorite songs by Jason Crabb.

"Sometimes I Cry"  Video  Jason Crabb Another favorite of ours that Jason sang tonight has touched our hearts when we hear it, because it really speaks the truth to those who walk with Christ. We know what is expected of us when we're with other believers but there are those private times when we just give it all to the Father and sometimes the tears just won't stop.

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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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