A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Ester took this photo of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail making itself at home on a phlox plant.
Click on photo to enlarge
Message summary: Christ continues to transform lives today and He is either transforming yours or waiting for you to call on His Name so you can be transformed. Please do so today!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:1,2).
Butterflies are out in abundance in our flower gardens and Ester patiently waits till they land on a colorful flower before photographing them. She likes to share photos of butterflies, the moon, and sunset views on her Facebook page. We believe she has a good eye for photos, and many have encouraged her in this regard.
She takes most photos with her iphone but when she gets serious she pulls out the big tripod and positions the Nikon Coolpix camera her Aunt Elaine gave her for Christmas several years ago. Her biggest asset (and ours as well) is living in the age of digital photography when you can take lots and lots of photos and instantly look at them, increasing the odds that some will turn out really good.
We old-timers remember when we paid for both the film roll and development and, due to cost, we'd likely take a limited number of photos of any subject. Then you would wait till the roll was used up, take it to be developed and then wait some more! Then you finally got to see how your photos came out (closed eyes, people looking in opposite directions, blurry results, and hopefully a few outstanding ones as well). *²
Though we don't wait any longer to see results of our photo sessions there is a lot of waiting in life as we wait out the development of particular situations, possible opportunities and that of our own physical, mental and spiritual development.
This line of thinking got me reflecting on the word, "metamorphosis" which is actually a Greek word, Greek being the language used in the original New Testament. It is used in Romans 12:2 which is translated in English as "transformed". The Bible doesn't use the word "butterfly" in any standard Bible translation, but does use a word often associated with the "butterfly", "metamorphosis". In fact it was one of the first really big words I recall learning in grade school and as most of you know, that is the scientific word describing the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Learning about this fascinating transformation in my science class was very exciting; learning to spell "metamorphosis" in my spelling class was not!
The butterfly larvae feed for about two weeks developing into worm like caterpillars about 2 inches long. Next it will transform into a pupa (or chrysalis) and in about two weeks complete the transformation into a colorful butterfly. After all this most butterfly species live only one to two weeks!
"Transformed" has the basic meaning of changing into another form so the change in view here is not a superficial fluctuation of fashion or conduct but a vital change revealing a new life.
Romans 12:2 instructs, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
* God said: Let us form man in our image.
* The devil says: I will deform man by sin.
* The world says: We must conform man in our image.
* Education says: Let us inform man by knowledge.
* Society says: We will reform man by culture.
* But only Christ says: I will transform man by grace.*¹
Christ continues to transform lives today and He is either transforming yours or waiting for you to call on His Name so you can be transformed. Start the transformation today or continue to be transformed into His likeness if you have already started the transformation process!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, how grateful I am that You turned the darkness of my soul into the sunshine of Your glory. You transformed my heart and renewed my mind when I received You as my personal Savior. You took away sin's sorrows and filled me with everlasting joy. Sin no longer is my master, but You are my Lord and Master. It is Your voice that I hear and it is in Your paths that I walk! Continue the process of transformation in my life until that final day when Your work is complete. You gave me my first breath and I want to give You my final breath as I am transformed into immortality. Amen.
*¹ Study notes for Romans 12:2 from the Middletown Bible Church
In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we read of the process of "being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory". Transformed here is also from the same word we get metaphorphosis.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Is He Worthy" Video West Coast Baptist College. Brooksyne's note: I came across this yesterday and was deeply touched not only by the inspiration of these words but the delivery of the song by students standing around the piano. We sing this in our choir and it is a favorite of ours, but this arrangement takes it to a new level. If you tune it in be sure not to turn it off at the end, as there's more to come. I believe the blessing of this song will stay with you all day and then some!
Our church is using a very interesting video intro to the current sermon series on words.
*² Regardless of when the photos were taken my very thrifty mom waited, perhaps months, till the next occasion when we could finish the roll. Since our camera was used infrequently that took months, perhaps a year or more. And then you waited for a sale on the development or sent it in the mail which took at least two or more weeks to get them back! As much as we want to go back to the old days in some areas there are other areas where the new and improved is much more desirable.
Yesterday we went to an Open House at Audrey's and on their 40th anniversary they were very pleased to have their record open house day. This is the line waiting for the doors to open!
Photo taken by Melissa Marshall, Social Media Coordinator
Click on photo to enlarge
Ester took our lead photo last week which prompted a search of butterfly photos taken through the years we have on our site.
I don't know how she got the black background!
(Click on photo for larger view)
Two weeks ago Brooksyne snapped this butterfly photo on a tiger lily on the Swatara Rail Trail
Click on photo to enlarge
Nominally useful fact for the day: Lepidopterologist is an entomologist who specializes in the collection and study of butterflies and moths. AKA butterfly collector, lepidopterist. bug-hunter, bugologist, entomologist - a zoologist who studies insects. We like the term bugologist!
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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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