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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Stone House farmhouse, New York state 3/23/19
The namesake farmhouse is across the street from the Stone House Farm Sugar House.

"Considering The Blessing Of Maple Syrup"

Message summary: Today let us be thankful for "every good and perfect gift" (James 1:17) including naturally sweet maple syrup!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"I have given every green plant for food" (Genesis 1:29).

This last weekend in upstate New York I visited two sugar houses to watch maple syrup being processed. Saturday morning I joined our friends and two other families and we all went to the Stone House Farm where they served a hearty breakfast of all you care to eat pancakes, waffles and of course REAL maple syrup! Later that afternoon I visited the Mud Road Sugar House. In both locations you could observe the syrup-making process.

The sap is collected from the maple trees and in various ways brought into the sugar house, whether in buckets and bags or by tubing. Essentially the sap is boiled down to produce the syrup. It takes some 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

At creation the Lord said, "I have given every green plant for food". It's unlikely the people of the Bible times had maple syrup and there's certainly no mention of it in Scripture. In the Bible they knew what sweetness was by the taste of honey. The Syrup Master (the man who oversaw the sap to syrup process) explained some similarities between maple sap/syrup and honey.

The conditions necessary for harvesting the sap for maple syrup require a colder region with nights below freezing and the warming days of spring which gets the sap flowing. The native Americans first discovered this delectable treat and taught it to the European settlers.

Now REAL maple syrup is one of the great blessings of life and is ultimately a demonstration from creation when we read that God gave us "every green plant for food". The Syrup Master explained that the quality of the sap, and thus syrup, is dependent upon the weather conditions the previous summer with lots of sunshine contributing to the sugar content in the sap. The verdant green maple leaves of summer, the beautiful colors of autumn and then the springtime sap harvest, all are related. The distinctions of each season are blessings from God and have an overall purpose in the way we carry on our lives.

Considering the blessing of maple syrup brought to mind a pleasant memory of gathering with friends in northern Pennsylvania some 40 years ago and the children singing quite exuberantly the Johnny Appleseed song, "Oh, The Lord Is Good To Me".

Oh, the Lord is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun, and the rain, and the apple seed.
The Lord's been good to me. Amen.

Today let us be thankful for "every good and perfect gift" (James 1:17) including maple syrup!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your statutes are trustworthy, Your precepts give joy to my heart. Your commands are radiant, giving light to my eyes. My reverence for You Lord is pure, may it endure forever. Your decrees are firm, Your statutes are trustworthy, and all of them are righteous. More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much find gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen.

Adapted from Psalm 19

Stone House sugar house, New York state 3/23/19
The Stone House farm sugar house where we had breakfast.

Stone House Syrup Master, New York state 3/23/19
Stone House Farm Syrup Master

Stone House syrup production, New York state 3/23/19
It takes a lot of wood to keep the fire hot.

Stone House Farm syrups, New York state 3/23/19
There was plenty of syrup for sale!

Mud Road sugar house, New York state 3/23/19
The Mud Road Sugar House

Mud Road Sugar House Syrup Master, New York state 3/23/19
The Syrup Master at the Mud Road Sugar House was very good at explaining the syrup-making process.

Mud Road sugar house maple trees being tapped, New York state 3/23/19
These old galvanized buckets on a maple tree out in front of the Mud Road Sugar House demonstrate the old method of collecting the sap. In the larger operations most of the sap is transported to the sugar house directly from the tree in tubing.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"It Was Love"  Video  (audio only)  Before heading back home to Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon three families joined together in the farmhouse for several hymns. It was a blessing to see and hear them all singing out together, including the children.

"Even Me"  Video  Triumphant Quartet

"The Lord Is Good To Me"  Video  Children

"Be Enthroned"  Video  Calvary Church Choir and Orchestra  (Brooksyne's note: This has been our theme song for a sermon series and continues to be a favorite. This was the first with an organ accompaniment, so if you enjoy hearing an organ, this is for you!)

How Maple Syrup is Made  Video

Small Scale Maple Syrup Process in Pennsylvania Video 

Maple syrup (article in Wikipedia)

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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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