A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, October 25, 2019
Early yesterday morning we passed this stunning maple tree on Strasburg Pike. The bright sunshine makes for a spectacular splash of bright orange and gold.
"A Lesson From A Hole In The Roof"
Message summary: The ultimate focus of today's story is not about the roof, but rather the Redeemer.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on" (Mark 2:2-4).
In the course of our chaplaincy work we regularly visit Smucker Home Improvement. Yesterday we stopped in to see the roofing crew before they left for their various assigned locations. We often pray for these diligent workers who work in adverse weather and in potentially dangerous settings. The photo to the right shows Manny, a young roofer with a big smile.
Roofing is hard work. But we all know (or should know) the blessing of a solid roof and the consequences of a leaking roof. However it's probably something we tend to take for granted unless there's a problem.
Smucker not only installs new roofs but has a team devoted to roof repairs. Marlin Smucker is a second generation owner of the company and shared with me yesterday that he has had several unusual roofing situations during 40 years in the business. In one instance the crew started tearing off the roof of a house to replace it, but after they started they learned they were at the wrong house. So that particular homeowner got a pretty good deal with a new roof!
But I try to imagine a scenario of a repair request that might go something like this:
Homeowner: I'm going to need a hole fixed in my roof.
Marlin: A hole in your roof! How did that happen? Was it a tornado?
Homeowner: No, a teacher came to visit and my house was so crowded that a group climbed up on my roof, cut a hole and lowered their paralyzed friend through it so he could see the teacher.
Marlin: Wow, I've never heard anything like this in all my years of roofing. You must be very upset; you're going to have to tell me more about this story.
Homeowner: Well actually I'm not upset at all. Sometime I'll have to tell you the story and it's a good one! But AccuWeather is calling for a storm and I sure need my roof fixed soon.
Marlin: We'll have a crew right over. And I'm coming too because I want to hear that story!
Today's Bible story always brings a smile as I consider the circumstances, the setting, and the people involved. When I preach or write from this passage I normally focus on the men above who lowered the mat through the roof. Mark informs us that there were four of them which would be handy if the mat was similar to a stretcher, each one handling a corner. They are the kind of friends who "have your back".
I see four descriptive character traits in them; faithful, loyal, resourceful and persistent. These are four character qualities we all need!
But I also consider the event from below the roof in the room where Jesus and the people had gathered. The room was crowded and likely hot. Surely the procedure was not neat. I assume that it was a thatch type roof. Regardless some debris surely fell on the people as the men used primitive tools to cut the opening.
The noise from above would have distracted more than a few. I wonder if any heavy fragments or dropped tools might have hit someone on the head or if small pieces fell in their eyes as they observed the unusual distraction from above. I wonder how those who arrived early and waited their turn to be near Jesus felt about the major distraction? After working so hard to get into the crowded room were the early birds annoyed that they were now forced to make room for the "late ones?" I have also pondered the reaction of the homeowner. I sure wouldn't appreciate someone cutting a hole in my roof!
I wonder if Jesus smiled at this scene. (I think He did, perhaps He even laughed!)
But the focus of the story is not about the roof, but rather the Redeemer. Jesus extended both forgiveness and divine healing to the lame man and received praise. In Mark's account the story ends with this statement, "This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this!'" May the Lord open our eyes today to see amazing things. Surely He wants to use us like He used the four friends of the paralytic to bring about amazing things! Are you willing?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, when we consider the zeal and creative way the paralyzed man's friends brought him to Jesus we're challenged to do likewise. This man was helpless and unable to reach the Healer on his own, but Jesus healed and saved him through the effort and faith of his friends. They cared compassionately and the barriers did not stop them from bringing him to his only Hope. Help us to be persistent in reaching out to those whose only hope for salvation or healing is by bringing them to Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.
The Smucker roofing crew gathering before they went out for the day.
Lots of hay bales along Farmersville Road.
(Click to enlarge)
Wagon with fully bloomed mums along Musser School Road.
Pumpkins on hay bales.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Great Things/King Of My Heart " Video Phil Wickham
"Put It into God's Hands" Video The Browders
"Living Hope" Video Calvary Church Worship Team
Our pastor's sermon this last Lord's Day from the full account of today's story from Mark 2:1-12 prompted a consideration of today's passage. This video link is cued to the beginning of the sermon.
Monday we mentioned that it was the 23rd anniversary of our Daily Encouragement ministry. We have continued to post this information all week long for those who may not read each message and do so today for weekly subscribers (those who receive the Friday message only).
Here's some info about Daily Encouragement Net
Daily Encouragement Ministry Chronology
October 21, 1996 - First email sent to Nigel and Laifong Lee a married couple and developed into a list (which was merely a group list added to manually one by one.)
1999 - Website developed by Andy Larrimore, a friend in the church we served at the time in New England.
2002 - Began one minute radio spots extracted from Daily Encouragement messages and in recent years original messages written by Brooksyne that may not be featured in one of our DE messages.
2004 - Resigned from full-time job with chaplain agency.
2005 - Developed html email (formatted with photos as opposed to just plain text), began podcasting daily messages, set up blogs/RSS feeds, Brooksyne "officially" joined in the message preparation.
2006 - Received official endorsement as the first "internet chaplain" from chaplaincy endorsement agency. (I already had endorsement for corporate chaplaincy and Civil Air Patrol chaplaincy.)
Each of these messages since the very first one are stored in a single WORD document which currently has over 4,000,000 words and over 6,500 pages (10pt type). However even this total is probably significantly understated since, as many writers know, you tend to type many words that get chopped as you go along or are eliminated in the editing process! Plus we prepare a lot of extra material on the html posts such as photo captions, music descriptions and so forth that aren't even in this archive.
Although we are thonkful for spellchick we still need to poofread carefully to see if we any words out.
Ministry update: For those interested we direct you to a revised ministry update in light of our 23rd ministry anniversary. http://www.dailyencouragement.net/ministryupdate.htm
Survey: If you would care to do so we have prepared a short survey (it takes about five minutes). Since we know little about many of our readers and podcast listeners we find this helpful in having sense of who you are and how you are using our materials.
Support: We are thankful for those who support our ministry with their financial offerings. Some give monthly, others periodically or one-time. We generally each spend about 1/2 day preparing these messages, managing the technical details and responding to email feedback (some days more, some days less). Our prayer has been that offerings would be essentially 1/2 of our family income since we work together. We also receive income from our corporate chaplaincy ministry. If any reader would like to consider an offering to our online ministry information is here: http://www.dailyencouragement.net/support.htm
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Future plans: Essentially we look for strength to continue to prepare these messages each weekday and for the foreseeable future intend a ministry mix between internet and chaplaincy. Essentially the chaplaincy gets us out regularly to the real world for a fresh perspective!
Brooksyne's Note: As we share the history of this web ministry I am reminded of our Lord's faithfulness and the diverse giftings He gives to those He has called. It is extremely humbling to us that God's Spirit speaks to the hearts of men and women all around the world through our daily messages. When we got our first computer Stephen and I would never have imagined the medium of computer technology giving us "a voice" to reach people all over the world. Your prayers, feedback, and support spur us on and challenge us to remain faithful in this writing ministry. Join us in continually giving thanks for His abundant blessings that far outnumber the grievous burdens one endures over a lifetime.
Here's the very first daily Encouragement message from Monday, October 21, 1996:
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
Hopefully each of you were in church yesterday and received fresh strength from the Lord and His Word. Unfortunately, then, even as now, some had forsaken this important element of growth and discipleship. As we see the Day of Christ's return drawing ever closer may we be encouraged. Whatever you do today remember the main thing: "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
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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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