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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mules 7/14/19 
Mules gathered at a fence in Lancaster County.
Click on photo for larger view

"A Lesson From The Bit And Bridle"

Message summary:  The Psalmist David's word is still good for us today: "Donít be like some senseless horse or mule." 

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Donít be like some senseless horse or mule, whose movement must be controlled with a bit and a bridle" (Psalm 32:9).

A common sight traveling through Lancaster County are mules and horses, which the Amish farmers use for field work. We always enjoy seeing them out in pasture as seen in our lead photo today.

I have watched our friend Jesse as he prepares his mules for teamwork. It's quite a bit of work and the mules can be quite stubborn. Before assembling the mule team he has to put the bit and bridle on each mule.

Mules are the official state animal in my home state of Missouri where they were introduced in the 1820's and quickly became popular with farmers and settlers because of their hardy nature. Mules are known to be rather obstinate as expressed in the phrase "stubborn as a mule".

I (Brooksyne) had the pleasure of riding on a wagon pulled by mules with my grandpa a number of times in Batson, Arkansas. He owned 200 acres and farmed many acres of potatoes and green beans. I still remember one of his mules named Rodie and I do remember at times Grandpa sure had to get them into line with what they were to do. I was probably about 12 when he let me take the reins and it sure was a memorable occasion.

Last Sunday morning our pastor,
Beau Eckert, preached from Psalm 32 and showed the slide below when he got to our daily verse. He was contrasting the stubbornness of a mule with sheep who willingly follow their shepherd. Today's text tells us we are not to be like a horse or mule while Psalm 23 implies we are to be like sheep, "The Lord is my shepherd".

Mule/sheep slide 7/14/19

"Donít be like some senseless horse or mule."  The text uses both horse and mule here. A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Mules are reputed to be more patient, hardy and long-lived than horses.

The Bible has both "do's and "don'ts" and today we have a "don't".

Don't be "senseless" which is in contrast to the attitude we should have as we commit our ways to the Lord. In the previous verse (v.8) the Lord says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you".

Bit and bridle

"Whose movement must be controlled with a bit and a bridle." This photo shows an actual bit and bridle still used for the mules on the Old Windmill Farm. It's used to control the animal. The bit fits into the mouth and the bridle around the mule's head. Three thousand years after David wrote Psalm 32 the bit and bridle is still being used!

And David's word is still good for us today!
"Donít be like some senseless horse or mule."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer:   Father, I am richly blessed because the Bible tells me that the eyes of the Lord are upon me. I am not left to fend for myself or even to decide which way to go for You instruct me and teach me in the way I should go; You counsel me with Your loving eye on me. To gain Your wisdom I must give You the reigns to my mind and heart so that You will guide my thinking and steer my passion toward that which is honoring to You and is good for me. Then I will be able to rejoice in You and be glad. I will sing and be upright in heart and spirit. Amen.

Selected texts from Psalm 32

Today we will share some of our mule photos

Mules in barn
This was one of the earliest photos we posted on Daily Encouragement back in 2007

Old Windmill Farm hay baling team 6/7/18 (Click to enlarge)
The mule team making hay
(Photo by Jesse Lapp, click to enlarge)

Mule work team
This mule team has just completed a hard day of field work on a farm here in Lancaster County and are now being returned to their stall in the barn. I went in the barn a few minutes after this photo was taken and they were sure enjoying their meal and water!

Audrey's devotional 7/16/19
Tuesday morning we stopped by Audrey's on our way to Knoebel's Amusement Park where I have the opportunity each week to share a brief devotional with the employees. Audrey's is a wholesale distributor of gift and home decor items and is located in a very scenic part of rural Lebanon County.

Charest family 7/17/19
Yesterday it was a joy to share breakfast and fellowship with Joel and Adrienne Charest along with their three children at the Casey Jones Restaurant. They were in charge of our children's church in Taunton, MA while attending Bible college and are now missionaries to Mozambique. We enjoyed many Sunday fellowships with them over dinner in the parsonage. Here's their website.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Listen here to the portion of last Sunday's sermon where Pastor Eckert refers to Psalm 32:9 and the stubbornness of the mule.

"Broken Vessels/The Passion"  Video  Concluding portion of our service last Sunday at Calvary Church.

Finally today: Yesterday we shared a photo of a very mangled dead bolt to our back door we discovered after returning from Knoebel's Park Tuesday evening. We are pretty certain it was Mollie (our border collie), who is absolutely terrified at an approaching storm and jumps on the door trying to get in. Surely chewing on the metal is hard on her teeth!

Speaking of teeth, anyone want to submit a caption for this photo?

Horse teeth 7/17/19
I think he's saying, "How many times do I need to tell you that I need to see a dentist?"

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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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