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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock
Ester and I walked around the Plymouth Harbor on Monday morning and had a seafood lunch on the fishing pier. Plymouth is looking for a very busy summer with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing this fall.

"A Dangerous Trap"

Message summary:  Let us heed the Scripture's warning today!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed" (Luke 12:15). "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6:9,10).

Church signWe often receive edification and inspiration from church signs.
We were pleased to see the church we served in New England is maintaining their sign with thought-provoking messages.

But I have seen church signs that really don't edify me and a few that are just plain offensive. The all time worst church sign I've ever seen was a church that promoted their bingo (inexcusable for any true church of Jesus Christ in my view). The name of the church was Holy Ghost _________ Church (I won't identify the denomination). The large marquee sign along the highway advertised bingo night with this phrase, "Holy Ghost Bingo".  What a shameful witness for the third person in the divine, holy Trinity!

It's sad when churches and the state get into gambling. Here in Pennsylvania the state-sponsored gambling scheme is aggressively marketed. One can hardly go into any store without being bombarded with lottery sales. Advertising abounds on TV, print and on billboards. One perverse ad (I can't recall whether it was Pennsylvania or another state) actually marketed the lottery to the poor as "the way out." We have seen a steady expansion of other forms of gambling in our state, telling us it will lower taxes.

Scripture verseLet us consider the timeless relevance of God's Word. In 1 Timothy 6 Paul has warnings to both the rich (17-19) and those who desire to be rich (6-10). We surely benefit from both including the warnings that Paul gives to the rich. You may say, "Well, that's sure not me!" Well, it likely is. Most of us have far more of this world's goods than the vast majority of the world's people. 

Yet we also still need the solemn warning in our daily text that Paul gives to "people who want to get rich". You see, it seems no matter how much you have, you always want more!

TrapLet's just consider one word in our Scripture text this morning. The word "trap" has the root meaning "fastened by a noose". Wow, isn't that the case? A noose is loose at first but gets tighter and tighter. Isn't that the nature of sin in general and greed in particular? There's an appeal, such as the bait set in a trap, but going down that road indeed leads to ruin and destruction.

Let us heed the Scripture's warning today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we consider the Scriptures that warn us of attitudes, desires, and behaviors that lead us on a road to destruction. We want to be faithful to the righteous path that we began the day we surrendered our lives to You. May we seek You wholeheartedly so that our desires, our actions, and our affections align us with the straight and narrow path You walked before us. May we use our resources for Your glory and not our own. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Some more photos from our visit to New England

Joe and Goretti Damaso
Joe and Goretti Damaso are a faithful Portuguese couple who still attend the church we served in the nineties. Taunton and all of Southeast Massachusetts has a very large Portuguese population.

Christmas Tree Shop, Sagamore, MA
Brooksyne's favorite New England store was the Christmas Tree Shops at the entrance to the Cape right after crossing the Sagamore Bridge. But it has lessened over the years due to their expansive reach since now they're now popular in many areas. At the time they were only located in New England and had a special appeal quite different than today's stores.

Ester and I took a tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory in Hyannis, MA. We even got a free sample bag! Photography inside the production area was prohibited.

We spent our final night in New Bedford near the whaling museum before returning home early Tuesday morning. New Bedford is still a very busy fishing port and I had a conversation with a scalloper who just returned after five days at sea. Being a commercial fisherman is some of the hardest and most dangerous work there is.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"My Worth Is Not In What I Own"  Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty with Fernando Ortega

Finally today: Early last week I returned to the orthopedic doctor and thought I had seen a turnaround with the knee I injured in a fall last month. The last several days I have had a flare-up and am unable to get out today for chaplain visitation. Brooksyne is going solo and of course we appreciate your prayers! This is a knee I injured while in college and have had two surgeries on.

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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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