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Friday, October 2, 2020

Cramers Farms dried flowers
Dried flower arrangement from Cramers Farms

"Let Us Run With Endurance!"

Message summary: Remember, we will all be judged by how we finish, not by how we start!

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"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1,2).

Ryan HerrOur work in chaplaincy allows us to visit many people each week in the workplace. Yesterday I engaged in a conversation with Ryan, a plumber at JK Mechanical. He enthusiastically shared with me how he was growing in his faith due to a mentoring program in his church led by one of his pastors.

From previous visits I knew Ryan was a believer and served on the worship team in his church but inquired a bit more about his background and personal testimony. (He was waiting for confirmation of his work assignment so I was not hindering his work).

He told me he was raised in church but during his teen years he rebelled and spent about 15 years in the wilderness of sin. He got involved in many of the typical "worldly ways". It was the birth of his first child that began his course of getting back on track. Ryan also had a praying mother who lived to see her prodigal son come back home to the faith before her death several years ago.

As I typically do I asked Ryan if he had a life verse and after pausing he told me it was Hebrews 12:1-2. Knowing the passage well I said, "So you are running the race?" to which he affirmed he was. But I pressed him regarding a critically important way we run by asking him, "Running with what?" And he properly responded, "With endurance".

"Endurance" translates a Greek word that has the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose in his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings. * It is also translated "perseverance" and "patience".

The Expositor's Bible Commentary comments regarding this endurance, "The author is not thinking of a short, sharp sprint but of a distance race that requires endurance and persistence. Everyone has from time to time a mild inclination to do good. The author is not talking about this but about the kind of sustained effort required of the long-distance runner who keeps on with great determination over the long course. That is what the heroes of faith did in their day, and it is that to which we are called."

Ryan had spent some years in "vanity and pride" as described in the classic hymn, "At Calvary" and had a later start of earnestly serving the Lord. That might be your story as well, but remember this; we will all be judged by how we finish, not by how we start!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father, as we live by faith and not by sight we see much of what the world does not see because we see it through eyes of faith.  It is by faith that we come to Jesus and it is by faith that we will stay the course.  For it is not the one who runs the swiftest nor the one who runs for a day, but the one who endures to the end that will be saved.  The struggles of this life diminish when we walk by faith and not by sight.  Navigate our steps as we journey here below.  In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Redeemed"  Video  Big Daddy Weave

"He Will Hold Me FastVideo  Keith & Kristyn Getty, Selah

"Run the Race"   Video  Nice presentation with Scriptures on running

"The Race!! Christian Motivational Video!!"  Video 

"Let It Be Jesus"  Video  Christy Nockels

The corn wagon
We were pleased to stop by the Corn Wagon in New Danville yesterday morning and see they still had sweet corn. The farmer told me they may still have some next week. After we dug through looking for the largest ears like everyone else we bought 4 dozen (actually 13 for $3.00) and we spent yesterday afternoon preparing corn for the freezer. Well, actually I only helped with the shucking and discarding the corn cobs (Brooksyne did the rest).

Cramers Farms flowers
We have a variety of plants grown along our rural road. Yesterday we shared some photos of the squash being harvested by our Amish neighbors and of course we have lots of corn, wheat and soybeans. But we also have Cramers Farms, a large commercial flower farm. See the web site from beautiful photos.

Cramers Farms flowers
We stopped by the farm yesterday to purchase the dried flower arrangement in our lead photo and I snapped this photo of freshly picked flowers in the back of a farm pickup.

Hemp plants
But the newest crop grown on our road has a foul odor and dubious purpose.

Finally today:

Morning moon
This morning at sunrise the full moon appeared similar to the sun as we looked west!

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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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