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Friday, July 12, 2019

Onion wagon_07-11-19
We stopped yesterday to purchase some produce at a roadside produce stand and when I turned around I saw this wagon in the barn with freshly harvested sweet candy onions.

"A Lesson Concerning Fads"

Message summary: Today we consider fads, which are nothing new.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Ephesians 4:14,15).
"Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines" (Hebrews 13:9).

Have you heard the latest fad? Well, I don't know what it is and if I thought I did I would probably be wrong!

A fad is defined as "an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze". In regard to products a fad is a product that has a very brief product life cycle that rises quickly in popularity but then declines about as quickly. Examples of fads include the Hula-hoop®, Pet Rock® and Beanie Babies® and many, many others. Brooksyne remembers Mexican Jumping Beans from her elementary school years.

Surely every generation has had fads. What do you suppose the fads were in the Bible times?

I tend to resist fads. Even in High School I was probably considered a bit of a "square" for this. I've probably missed out on a few good things in life just because of my resistance to fads. However I feel that I've also avoided many teachings and trends which might have been of little value or even detrimental to my spiritual growth. If it's good it will last and I can use it when it's been tried and tested and I can clearly see the results.

The church is also susceptible to fads. Long-time pastor and Bible teacher John MacArthur wrote on what he calls "evangelical fad surfing".

"They follow whatever is the latest popular trend. They buy whatever is the current best seller. They line up to see any celebrity who speaks spiritual-sounding language. They watch eagerly for the next Hollywood movie with any “spiritual” theme or religious imagery that they can latch on to. And evangelicals discuss these fads and fashions endlessly, as if every cultural icon that captures their attention had profound and serious spiritual significance. Evangelical churchgoers desperately want their churches to stay on the leading edge of whatever is currently in vogue in the evangelical community." *

Fads in the New Testament were described by Paul in our daily texts. The first daily text describes this as "infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."  This describes the volatility of those who fail to grow and mature in Christ.

The writer of Hebrews warned, "Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines" (13:9). Today we see a departure from the course of faith and Biblical teaching that our forefathers could hardly have imagined. Even in my own lifetime who would have predicted that something as foundational as the basic constitution of holy marriage between a man and a woman would be a serious issue of departure? Some of our readers have been forced by biblical convictions to leave their church due to fad teachings that deviate from God's Holy Word. Tragically, some pastors base their teaching more on fads and opinion polls than the unwavering truths as taught by our Creator.

What can the righteous do? 

1) I call on my pastor peers to heed this solemn Scriptural command: "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Timothy 4:2) and to "Teach what is in accord with sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1). Resist the trite fads that flood the church though it may go counter to the plethora of church growth advice.

2) I call on all dedicated followers of Christ to implement the God-ordained means to stability and health in your spiritual lives. Through our unwavering commitment to read God's Word and through the practice of other spiritual disciplines the character of Christ is developed in us as we are rooted and grounded in Him who is the Head, which results in long-term spiritual stability.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your warnings regarding the deluge of deceitful tactics from the enemy is evidenced all around us – through the media, books, false prophets and even well-meaning but confused individuals. Your Word is the stabilizing and authoritative doctrinal manual for all that I need for life and godliness. You promise to bring maturity into my Christian walk as I apply Your teaching so that I attain to the fullness of Your Son, Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone. Help me to be wise, studied, and vigilant so that I correctly discern good from bad, truth from error. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

Women on bicycles 7/11/19
Yesterday driving through a rural portion of Lancaster County we passed these three old-order Mennonite girls (women) who had just left some type of gathering on a farm where we purchase produce. This group does not seem very susceptible to fads and ever since we have lived in this area have been riding bikes that look like these with the plain cardboard boxes for hauling stuff. Unfortunately it was a tough day for their mode of travel since we had heavy downpours early in the morning and late afternoon.

Rainy front view 7/11/19
After we got home we had a heavy downpour which often results in a flooded lawn. Thankfully in over 17 years of living here it's never come up to our house and we have never had a flooded basement where our family room is.
(click on photo to enlarge)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"O God, Our Help in Ages Past"  Video  Not a fad song!

* "Evangelical Fad Surfing"  John MacArthur

Finally today: We all need encouraged and are thankful when it comes in unexpected ways. Yesterday we received a gracious thank you note via snail mail from a Podcast listener in Memphis Tennessee. He wrote in part:

"I hope you both are well! I know we have never met but I feel like I know you through your "Dailyencouragement.net" site. I happened across it about 2 or 3 years ago while walking on a trail around our office complex while on my evening break. I just told Siri - "Bring up something I can listen to related to Christian Encouragement and 'Bam' I found you two! (Yay)"

We are pleased that Siri recommended Dailyencouragement and we are very grateful to all our readers and listeners who take time out of their day to join us for a reflection from God's Word as well as a little personal family message we often include.

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Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

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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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