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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Kraybill Church Road traffic 6/5/19 (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday we had a traffic jam on the road in front of our house with some construction vehicles temporarily blocking this harvester.
(Click to enlarge)

"A Lesson From Embedded Rock"

Message summary: Most of us have some "embedded rock" in our lives, some way more than others.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).

When we bought our home in 2002 a feature we highly valued is living across from "preserved farmland". This means the property has a deed restriction so that it will remain agricultural. The large field across from our home has been planted with a variety of crops since we moved here; corn, soy beans, wheat and rye.
It's relatively flat but still drains well. Presently the baby corn is just starting to show. I have often used photos here in this series of this field view from our front porch.

In the field is a large pile of rocks about 20 feet wide by 100 feet long. I initially assumed a farmer many years ago piled the rocks there and wondered why he would make a rock pile in the field to plow around rather than off to the side or in a corner where it would be less obstructive to farming.

So I asked my neighbor, who farmed for many years, about this matter. He explained the pile is a very large outcropping of embedded rock buried deeply into the soil that could not be removed without great expense and effort. So the farmer just works around it year after year. For many years it has also provided me with a convenient place to take yard waste like I did yesterday morning.

When I view this pile of rocks I consider a spiritual application. The farmer could get really discouraged about this. It could just eat at him, year after year, having to work around this obstacle. He might mutter under his breath, "Why in the world did the Lord allow that outcropping to be there anyway!"

Most of us have some "embedded rock" in our lives, some way more than others. In this illustration embedded rock are those hardships in life we can do little about and must learn to live with.

For some it's a physical disability. I consider Andrea from our church in New England who is a paraplegic as a result of an auto accident when she was a baby. For others it's a family situation such as being born to drug-abusing, abusive parents or an unwed teenage mother and never knowing one's father. For some, although they are very unlikely to be reading this material, it's being born and living in a desperately impoverished land and/or living under horrific persecution. The Christian believers in places like Sudan and northeastern Nigeria come to mind.

A great example of an overcomer is Joni Eareckson Tada, who has lived with a disability since a diving accident as a teenager. She will turn 70 this year (the day after my birthday). She has had a remarkable ministry in spite or should I say in great part because of her embedded rock. Later this month Brooksyne will serve as a short term missionary at a Joni and Friends retreat for the disabled at Spruce Lake in the Poconos.

Now let me make it clear, God is certainly able to remove any form of embedded rock in our lives and amazingly He often does. But often we are called to work around it and even put it to use so that God may be glorified. There are matters that in God's power He could remove, but in His providence he does not. But He does provide needed strength and grace to work around it or through it. Millions can testify to that grace.

Are you dealing with some embedded rock today? Are you in the midst of a trial that just goes on and on? Is there a major rock outcropping in your life or an embedded rock weighing you down? God's grace is absolutely sufficient to sustain you and teach you through the trial. Paul kept the faith and so can you. In fact you will be stronger as a result of this trial and God will be glorified through your faithful response to His testing. The daily text is surely one of the greatest assurance verses in the entire Bible. "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I want to keep my life embedded in the Rock of Ages. Whether our trials are emotional, physical, spiritual, financial or relational we are absolutely dependent on You for everything that we have need of. You work in the supernatural realm while we are confined to the natural unless Your power is manifested in our lives. Help us not to resent or be embarrassed by our weaknesses, but invite Your Holy Spirit power to work through them, so that we can learn endurance, find strength and so You may be glorified. Give us confidence in the truth, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Amen.

Nehemiah 8:10 plaque
A great reminder!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"In Christ Alone"  Video  Booth Brothers

This Sunday evening we plan to attend a Booth Brothers gospel concert in Lebanon, PA. Any local readers who may be interested in attending this concert and others in the summer "Music In The Park" series see this site. These concerts have no admission charge and a free-will offering is received. The concerts are held in an outside amphitheater in a beautiful setting.

"Fall On My Knees"  Video  The Browders  A very thoughtful song.

"Yes And Amen"  Video  Calvary Church worship team

Joni and Friends family retreats  Brooksyne's note: I am looking forward to serving as short term missionary at this retreat. I got my clearances and references and finally today the notification that I'm expected on June 23rd for a week of ministry. My personal thanks goes out to a couple readers that I used as references.

"Grunau Family"
Here's a video of a family that went to the retreat that is very touching and also illustrates today's message.

Spruce Lake (retreat location in the Poconos)

Information about Farmland Preservation

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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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