A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, June 15, 2020
Lancaster County barn as seen from along the Conewago rail trail. The shadows of the cupolas especially caught our attention. On the way back the shadows were gone and deer had invaded the meadow.
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"The Blessing Of New Life"
Message summary: Today there's plenty of evidence of despair, decay and depravity all around us but we want to proclaim the reality of new life for those who choose to follow Christ and live in obedience to Him.
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"We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4).
On Saturday I mowed down a young forest. Two towering oak trees cast large shadows over our front lawn. I would estimate they are about 30-35 years old and planted by the first owner of our home since our property was originally a tilled farm field. As they have matured they produce and drop lots of acorns.
Although the squirrels and chipmunks feed on them vigorously many still germinate and produce a forest of tiny oak trees around the mother oaks which my lawn tractor easily mows down. But they keep coming back up whether, from new germinations or from regenerating after being cut, I don't know. Perhaps a forester can tell me. We would have a hard time taking a photo of this tiny forest but this morning Brooksyne is holding one of the individual baby trees with the acorn still attached.
In our back yard we have a holly bush. On Saturday I trimmed it with our hedge trimmer and when cleaning the trimmings I noticed we had a bird nest with eggs about three inches below the top. I carefully picked out several leaves and twigs that had fallen on the nest but was concerned about the mother bird coming back. Thankfully she has returned to her motherly duties and perhaps we will be able to observe and share photos over the next several weeks. She's a beautiful brown bird that makes a low clicking sound, as though snapping her "fingers" at us warning us to stay away. We have been unable to photograph the bird thus far. Evidence of new life abounds out here in the country.
New life is exciting and worth celebrating whether it's physical or spiritual. The Father sent Jesus that we might have new life. Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of the Father and He has ordained a new life for His redeemed children.
"We too may live a new life". The apostle Paul uses the 1st person plural "we", indicating that this was a very personal experience for him, not merely an injunction to his readers. The sense of this "new life" is active and ongoing. New life does not necessarily mean young. We can experience new life all through the course of this earthly life. The Amplified Bible expresses the latter part of our first daily text as, "so that we too may habitually live and behave in newness of life".
Today there's plenty of evidence of despair, decay and depravity all around us but we want to proclaim the reality of new life for those who choose to follow Christ and live in obedience to Him.
I believe that the Christ
Who was slain on the cross
Has the power to change lives today
For He changed me completely
A new life is mine
And that is why by the cross
I will stay
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, though my mortal body is perishing and confined to this earthly dwelling, I rejoice in the energizing truth that my inward spiritual being is being refined and preparing me for an eternal dwelling where I will never grow weak, weary, or old! Thank You for the renewing of my mind and spirit as I hold fast to Your transforming truths this day. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary" Video Gaither Vocal Band
Friday evening we took a long bike ride on the Conewago Rail trail from the trail head on Rt. 230 near Elizabethtown all the way up past the Lebanon County line where it becomes the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail. This is one of the premier rail trails in our area with a seamless connection between the Lancaster and Lebanon County portions with over 20 miles of trail and expanding.
This part of the trail has a steep grade down to Mill Road and back up due to the removal of the railroad trestle (notice the stone foundation). It is the only paved portion of the trail.
The Conewago rail trail is a peaceful former rail line through woods and farmland. We enjoy the river trails but also appreciate the variety of road surfaces and landscape views.
Click to enlarge
This deck was built over a creek at this old spring house along Prospect Road.
Click to enlarge and you will see the yellow cat resting comfortably below the deck and next to the relaxing stream.
An old railroad schedule at the Bellaire station.
A beautiful sunset on the way back to the trailhead.
The trail closes at dusk so we really cut it close. For a long time it seemed there was a tunnel ahead of us but it was just formed by trees!
Last Friday morning we went to BB's, an Amish-run discount grocery store. We were encouraged and built up by these Scripture verses placed on the hand sanitizers!
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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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