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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Woodpecker (Doris High)
Red-Headed Woodpecker
(Doris High)

"A Consideration Of Spiritual Ire"

Message summary: Let God’s Word saturate your life today: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires”.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming” (Proverbs 27:4). “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Proverbs 29:11). “Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:20). “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26,27).

Doris High, and her husband Cerwin, are friends of ours through our association with a ministry to truck drivers called "Transport For Christ". Through the years we have shared many of Doris' photos on our site with her blessing, including her woodpecker photo today.

Doris recently commented on a message we wrote stating, "God stories light my spiritual ire". A few minutes later I received a followup email correcting her original statement to this one: "God stories light my spiritual fire". But the typo got me thinking about "spiritual ire". Ire is a lesser used word for anger and comes almost directly from the Latin word for anger, ira. It's used in sentences like this, "the plans provoked the ire of conservationists".

Years ago Stan Miller, our Sunday School teacher at the time, was teaching on the subject of anger and used an interesting illustration. I sure appreciate illustrations from the regular stuff of life which is how Jesus essentially illustrated when he spoke in parables. Stan spoke of needing something like a TPR valve when we deal with anger. Since my dad did plumbing I knew what he meant when referring to a TPR valve.

TPR valveTPR stands for “Temperature & Pressure Relief”. It’s a valve virtually all of us have on our hot water heater that is designed to open if the temperature or pressure exceeds a certain point. This is an important safety feature to prevent the hot water heater tank from exploding. I have never had a TPR open up in my home but I am thankful for this safety feature.

Stan asked us to consider what might act as a spiritual TPR when we deal with anger. That is, when we get hot with anger and our pressure builds, how do we find relief?

Anger is an ancient human condition first seen in Cain prior to the first murder. Throughout the Bible we see evidences of unconstrained anger and certainly it is a human condition all readers are familiar with. It gets a lot of attention in the media – whether it’s road rage, anger in the workplace or in the home, or wherever one chooses to unleash his or her fury on others. We've seen it a lot this summer in the various riots in many cities.

As a follower of Christ and student of the Bible I believe there’s a significant contributing factor to the increase of unconstrained anger. Through much of our history the teachings and principles of the Bible had a restraining impact upon our culture. This even impacted those who were not specifically followers of Jesus Christ. Most knew about the “Golden Rule” – it’s just plain common sense. There was an unspoken understanding that we are to be kind and respectful to one another and practice self-control even if it was not reciprocated.

But now with this restraint missing we see a pandemic of anger and rage in many forms. But virtually no consideration is given regarding the spiritual reasons for this increase in violence!

“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Paul is giving practical instructions on life to the Ephesian believers. He acknowledges that there will be times the believer is angry.

Anger in  itself is not a sin. The Bible records several occasions when Christ was angry (see Mark 3:5). In fact I believe sometimes it would be unhealthy not to be angry! God included it in our emotional constitution and there are times when it is the appropriate response.

Yet in this text the Bible lists three vital constraints on anger. We can see these points as being like a TPR:

1) “In your anger do not sin.” This indicates there are to be self-imposed constraints on the extent of anger. Obviously harming other people in our anger is sin! (Excepting physical self-defense circumstances.)
2) “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” This indicates there are to be self-imposed constraints on the duration of anger. This prevents the long term, harmful effects of seething anger that easily leads to destructive behavior or a bitter spirit.
3) “And do not give the devil a foothold.” This indicates there are to be self-imposed constraints on the ultimate source of destructive anger. If we allow anger to seethe and fervently gather evidence to support or justify our anger we are giving the devil a foothold on our emotions which in turn feeds our actions. Instead of a godly response it will produce a knee jerk reaction from the enemy who holds us down.

Let God’s Word saturate your life today: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:19,20).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father, when we are angry You tell us to stay above the fray and sin not. There are times when it is appropriate to be angry such as when we see a person harming another individual; when we have been lied to, when we have been unfairly accused or when we see the rotting decay around us due to the forces of evil. These circumstances along with many others stir up strong emotions with us and often require a response to the matter. Keep us prayerful which will enable us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. May we respond as Jesus did to His many accusers, though innocent, He spoke not a word in His defense. And may we be careful not to keep a scoreboard of other’s offenses. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus who forgives us and does not count our sins against us, but rather took them upon Himself.  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"All I Have Is Christ"  Video   Shane & Shane

Prayer MarchComing up this Saturday: We are joining a group from our area going down to Washington DC on Saturday, September 26 for a prayer march. See here for info. America is in deep trouble so let’s call on God’s power and a movement of the Holy Spirit to bring Repentance and Revival to our land! You can do this wherever you live.

What Is the Washington Prayer March: The Washington Prayer March 2020 event is a dedicated prayer march that is focused solely on asking God to heal our land. It is not a protest or political event, and we are asking participants to not bring signs in support of any candidate or party.

What Will Happen: At each stop, we will pray silently using the focus and prompts for each location. There will be no microphones or audio amplification for the march. After a set period of time, we will move on to the next stop. Map with prayer focus

When: Saturday, September 26

Where: Along the National Mall, starting at the Lincoln Memorial and ending at the U.S. Capitol. Approximately 1.8 miles. See route map.

Start time: Noon. Gather at the Lincoln Memorial Plaza at 11:30 a.m. This site has access to bus drop-off from the south and access to the Metro (subway) from the north.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours If you are unable to join the event live there are many simulcasting locations or watch the event on livestream here

Yesterday afternoon following morning chaplaincy visits we visited the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey PA. It's an outstanding museum with many interesting cars and we will share photos of several today and more tomorrow

Oldest operating car in America
1895 Benton Harbor motor carriage, the oldest operating automobile built in America and likely the first one built in Michigan.

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
1911 Stevens-Duryea Model AA Tourer. The tour guide explained this was for the very wealthy!

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
Wood wheel on the 1911 Stevens-Duryea Model AA Tourer. I wonder how long these spokes hold up after splashing through mud puddles year after year on muddy roads (which would have been the norm at that time period).

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
The Tucker 48. The middle headlight turns in the direction of the steering wheel.

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
The stainless steel DeLorean sports car.

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
The Hershey’s Kissmobile cruiser is a 12-foot tall, 26-foot long custom-made vehicle resembling three Hershey’s Kisses. Since the creation of Hershey’s Kissmobile in 1997, the cruiser has traveled over 250,000 miles and distributed samples of over 2,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates. The Hershey’s Kissmobile holds over 230,000 Hershey’s Kisses – That’s almost a ton of Kisses! (The mobile is parked in front of the museum.)

Finally today:

Donegal Springs
Brooksyne's Afternoon Walk: Yesterday I took my daily walk with the "girls", Sadie and Mollie, and headed to the historic Cameron Inn Estate and Donegal Presbyterian Church about 1 ½ miles from our house that we’ve often featured in our photos. I thoroughly enjoy walking the grounds in both places as there is so much natural beauty to behold. I met a couple walking the grounds who live in Newtown (near Philadelphia). They have been somewhat quarantined since March at their living quarters in Newtown so they "broke out" and came to visit Mount Joy where the wife lived as a child. They are lodging at the Cameron Estate Inn. She attended the church 50 years ago and was commenting about all the changes. She also shared that she has a photo of her grandmother standing in front of the famous Witness Tree. The original Witness Tree grew and flourished for nearly three centuries, but succumbed to disease. A cast iron memorial exists in its place now.
See here for more info.

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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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