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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Kraybill Church Road 6/11/19
Brooksyne walked with our neighbor along Kraybill Church Road last night and heard these two sisters laughing together as they were pulling their own devised wagon train. In the forefront is a large patch of rhubarb where Brooksyne often picks from for her strawberry rhubarb jam as well as rhubarb punch.

"The Blessing Of Plenty"

Message summary: Today may the Lord help us all to experience the blessing of plenty!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:11,12).

Lou HoltzLou Holtz is a legendary football coach and inspirational speaker. He shared with a group of college graduates a perspective that we need to hear. He told them about growing up in a small town in West Virginia in what we would consider great poverty; a house with just one bedroom and 1/2 bath for a family of four. But he told the graduates, "We always had plenty. When I asked my dad for seconds he always told me 'You've had plenty'". He went on to share how blessed he was to have a mom and dad who loved him and gave him the blessing of a good upbringing.

But his dad's reminder that "You've had plenty" is our consideration in this message.

Several years ago
we heard Todd Nettleton at a Voice of the Martyrs conference for persecuted Christians. He shared about visiting people in a refugee camp in northern Iraq who had fled from ISIS. The screen showed a photo of an Iraqi family that had converted from Islam to Christianity; a husband, wife and five very young children, including a baby. The photo was taken in front of a community tent where they slept along with many other refugees.

Todd saw how little the family had to eat, the lack of supplies for the children, and the very harsh conditions of their living quarters. His heart was heavy as he took it all in so he asked the father in earnest, "How can we help you? What would you like us to ask others to pray about?" The man thought for a moment, shook his head and said, "We have everything we need".

What an amazing outlook. Conditions we would find unbearable were deemed sufficient for this grateful dad. I wonder how comfortable the tent was, shared with so many. Did they each have a bed and separate bedrooms? How tasty were their meals? I wonder if they had cable access to their television or internet for their smart phones and computers, or whatever else we deem necessary for daily life and feel we just have to have. (Of course I say this in thoughtful jest.)

But the father told Todd, "We have everything we need." I really need to remember that the next time I complain either outwardly or inwardly about something petty (probably today).

This young Iraqi believer likely had little to no formal training in Bible and theology but he really understood. He was expressing and experiencing what the apostle Paul wrote, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:11,12).

Let us consider the phrase in our daily text, "I know what it is to have plenty". What do you think Paul meant by "plenty"? Did he know what it was to have a big house with several bathrooms, appliances and entertainment systems like we have? Did he know about supermarkets with abundant and varied foods? Did he travel in a suite on his ocean voyages? Of course not. Plenty to Paul and most in his age would seem like poverty to us! But Paul had learned one of life's most valuable lessons, "the secret of being content".

The Precept Austin commentary states: "
Contentment is never the result of multiplying riches, increas­ing pleasures, or gaining fame. All these only incite discontent, for when one obtains them, he finds he still is not satisfied. Con­tentment does not depend upon things on the outside, but results from conditions on the inside!"

Today may the Lord help us all to experience the blessing of plenty!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us to look beyond material provisions and recognize that the value of spiritual blessings far exceed our temporal needs and pleasures. We often live in anticipation for that which we don't presently have. Help us instead to appreciate and tenderly care for that which You have already entrusted to us, whether it's the people in our lives or our material blessings. May our faith in You increase as we build and store up our treasure in heaven rather than chasing after fool’s gold here on earth. And may our resolve to stand firm intensify as we see the day of Your return approaching. Amen.

Farm along Donegal Creek 6/11/19
Last night my young neighbor drove over in his golf cart (a popular mode of transportation on our country road these days) and asked me if I wanted to ride with him around the farm. Janden is only 22 but is a very polite, mature young man. We have watched him grow up since he was only about 5 when we moved here. This is a photo of his Grandpa's farm looking across Donegal Creek. If you enlarge you'll see the sheep grazing.
Click to enlarge

Wraparound porch 6/11/19
The front wraparound porch at his grandpa's house.
Click to enlarge

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Godliness With Contentment Is Great Gain"  Video  A song written and sung by Mike Book based upon 1 Timothy 6:6 in the New Testament of the Bible.

Finally today:

We had an interesting question from a reader yesterday: "You post a photo from your travels every morning at the top of your daily encouragement. I am curious as to when you find the time to do anything but drive around taking photos of the wonders of creation?" That's a good question! I answered, "Sometimes it's leisure travel but usually it's just what we see going from chaplain stop to chaplain stop or to church or other area places. This is a very scenic area." We all three enjoy photography and with cameras on our phones we always have them with us and enjoy taking and sharing our photos with others. Although we hope you read our messages we are aware some just look at the photos!

Susquehanna River from Route 30 bridge 6/11/19
Yesterday we drove down to Baltimore to pick up Ester at the BWI Airport, who had been visiting her Aunt Elaine and as well as her boyfriend, Jason, who lives next door to Elaine in New Braunfels, Texas. We crossed the Susquehanna River heading out and Brooksyne snapped this photo from the Rt. 30 bridge looking up the river.

Susquehanna River from Route 30 bridge 6/11/19
Heading back home Ester took this photo from the other side of the bridge looking down the river toward Chesapeake Bay.
Click to enlarge

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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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