A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
For several years back in the early 80's when we were a lot younger we enjoyed going to the Creation Festival in central PA with friends from our church. Can you find us? We boasted to others that we were demonstrating church unity as we all appeared to use the porta-potties at the same time. I suppose we were in "one accord"! Now most in the photo are in their 60's or even 70's! (On the very far left it appears someone is photo-bombing if such a thing existed back then.)
Click on photo to enlarge
"We're All In This Together"
Message summary: The consequences of our actions affect not only our own destiny but those entrusted to our care as well. Lord, today help us to persevere in your truth! And let us work together with those we are called to serve.
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“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16).
Today's lead photo is a funny memory from our early pastorate. For a number of years a group from our church went to the Creation Festival in central Pennsylvania. It was three days camping out and hearing contemporary Christian music and Bible teaching. We were still in our twenties when the photo was taken and decided to pose as if we were going to use the porta-potties all at the same time (although we didn't!). The caption was "We do life together at Agape" (the name of our church).
A common phrase as the "pandemic" season wears on and on is "We're All In This Together". We saw this demonstrated in an interesting way last Friday when Keith Lutz, owner of Kleen-Rite, the nation's largest wholesale car wash supply company, joined his team in the packing line. They've been swamped with orders so he joined in to help them catch up.
Working together is a critical component of success in many areas of life. Similarly, failing to work together can be disastrous. Consider the deadly crash of EgyptAir 990 in 1999. Evidence indicates that in the final moments the cockpit crew was actually working against each other in what the official NTSB called "a result of the relief first officer's flight control inputs". It seems the captain and first officer had different objectives. The captain valiantly tried to save the plane while the copilot was equally determined to ditch it into the ocean. What a terrifying time this must have been. The dastardly deed of being entrusted with several hundred lives and yet intentionally plunging them to death is practically unthinkable.
All in this together should mean we are working together to accomplish a mission having the same objective which is vitally important. This is true in the home, in church and, of course, in business. That's why it was heartening to see Keith in the packing line last week, a company function often held by newer, lesser skilled employees.
In business and ministry the perils of conflicting objectives are not as immediately dramatic as in a plane crash but they are every bit as deadly. Those of us in Christian ministry should be soberly aware of this. Paul spoke of two men named Hymenaeus and Philetus, who had wandered away from the truth. In doing so they had destroyed the faith of others as well (2 Timothy 2:17,18).
The daily verse ought to be memorized by everyone involved in ministry for Christ and that should be all who follow Him. Vigilance in both what we believe and how we live is vitally important. The consequences of our actions affect not only our own destiny but those entrusted to our care as well. Lord, help us today to persevere in your truth! And let us work together with those we are called to serve.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the Scriptures asks, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Grant us discernment, discipline, and direction when choosing our life partner, business associate or any other person in which we must unite in making decisions. For those who are presently unequally yoked grant them grace to live carefully, watching their lives and doctrine closely, so that they will positively influence their partner, co-worker, family member or friend to consider the claims of the Gospel which may ultimately lead them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"The Family Prayer Song" Video Maranatha Singers A great way to end a service with families gathered together for prayer.
For the aviation-minded here is some fuller information from the crash investigation of EgyptAir Flight 990: The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recorded the captain excusing himself to go to the lavatory, followed thirty seconds later by the first officer saying in Egyptian Arabic "Tawkalt ala Allah," which translates to "I rely on God." A minute later, the autopilot was disengaged, immediately followed by the first officer again saying, "I rely on God." Three seconds later, the throttles for both engines were reduced to idle, and both elevators were moved three degrees nose down. The first officer repeated "I rely on God" seven more times before the captain suddenly asked repeatedly, "What's happening, what's happening?" The flight data recorder reflected that the elevators then moved into a split condition, with the left elevator up and the right elevator down, a condition which is expected to result when the two control columns are subjected to at least 50 pounds (23 kgf) of opposing force. At this point, both engines were shut down by moving the start levers from run to cutoff. The captain asked, "What is this? What is this? Did you shut the engines?" The captain is then recorded as saying "get away in the engines" (this is the literal translation that appears in the NTSB transcript), followed by "shut the engines". The first officer replies "It's shut". The final recorded words are the captain repeatedly stating, "Pull with me" but the FDR data indicated that the elevator surfaces remained in a split condition (with the left surface commanding nose up and the right surface commanding nose down) until the FDR and CVR stopped recording. There were no other aircraft in the area. There was no indication that an explosion occurred on board. The engines operated normally for the entire flight until they were shut down. From the presence of a western debris field about 1,200 feet (370 m) from the eastern debris field, the NTSB concluded that the left engine and some small pieces of wreckage separated from the aircraft at some point before water impact.
The NTSB determined that the only way for the observed split elevator condition to occur was if the left seat pilot (the captain's position) was commanding nose up while the right seat pilot (the first officer's position) commanded nose down. As the Egyptian investigation forwarded various mechanical failure scenarios, they were each tested by the NTSB and found not to match the factual evidence.
Yesterday I (Stephen) made a chaplain visit in Palmyra, PA. Jesse and his son Moses were with me so we purposefully slowly drove down an alley to pass the Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna smokehouses from which emanate the most wonderful wood smoke aroma you can imagine. As the world's largest Lebanon Bologna producer, the company regularly distributes nationwide. Defying modern cost-cutting methods, the Seltzers continue to produce bologna the old-fashioned way - in these tall, wooden smokehouses over hand-tended fires. Some claim that the secret to Seltzer's distinctive taste lies not in the ingredients, but in the darkened smokehouses where slow, steady billows pervade spiced logs of aged beef. I sure wish I could buy a candle with that aroma!!! Palmyra is just east of another aromatic town that bills itself as "the sweetest place on earth" which also has a pleasant aroma.
Yesterday afternoon we passed this scene of tomatoes being harvested in a field near our home on Colebrook Road. These tomatoes will be processed into sauces, likely at the Furmanos plant about 80 miles north of us. Sorry we aren't closer but Brooksyne took the photo as we drove by. Here's a post with close-up photos from the same farm years ago.
On the way to walk our dogs along the river Brooksyne snapped this photo last evening. Sadie is not too pleased to be in a vehicle unless she can put her head out the window.
We passed this old truck backed up into the woods in a forested area of northern Lancaster County.
We noticed this morning that our dogwood tree is starting to change and drop foliage!
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