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Friday, October 23, 2020

Spotted Lantern Fly
This Spotted Lanternfly near my barn is "pretty but bad".

"Pretty But Bad"

Message summary: May God open our eyes today to all that is pretty but bad and give us a resolve to destroy the bugs before they destroy us!

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"Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her capture you with her eyelids" (Proverbs 6:25). "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature" (Colossians 3:5). "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" (Hebrews 12:1).

The last couple of days we took care of five year old Sara Beth and her three year old brother Stephen as their parents attended a wedding for relatives in New York state. Early this morning we returned them to the Old Windmill Farm where there was a very happy reunion. They are very bright and inquisitive children and sure added a lot of energy to our home.

Wednesday afternoon Brooksyne went on a two mile walk on our favorite trail with the children and they saw a new pest in our area, the Spotted Lanternfly. Sara Beth correctly and succinctly observed, "They're pretty but they're bad".

The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is native to China and was first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014, likely migrating off a container ship. Spotted Lanternfly feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees. They are invasive and can be spread long distances by people who move infested material or items containing egg masses. If allowed to spread through the United States, this pest could seriously impact the country’s grape, orchard, and logging industries. Several weeks ago when we were in New York, Jack, a forester friend, expressed concern regarding the devastating effect the lanternfly would have in the fertile regions around the Finger lakes. (Incidentally the stinkbug also came in through eastern PA over twenty years ago so we wonder what's up with eastern, PA!)

The first of ten suggested tips to get rid of the Spotted Lanternfly is "Smush the bugs. It is effective and the method that is least harmful to the environment. If the flies are on a hard surface, fly swatters and wiffle ball bats work well. If you miss the first time, don’t give up. Lanternflies jump well the first time, but then lose energy. If you follow the bug, you will likely get it on the second or third try."

Several weeks ago we were at the farm when I saw a Spotted Lanternfly. I asked Sara Beth if she knew what it was. She did and without comment immediately stepped on it barefoot, which is certainly an effective way to smush a bug!

As regular readers might suspect there's a lesson that we hope will be spiritually valuable. I like to tell stories but the real value of our ministry is in the exposition of Scripture and spiritual application. Our daily text is in the context of warnings against the harlot with a timeless warning appropriate to all generations, "Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her capture you with her eyelids" (Proverbs 6:25).

Now for the record and by the grace of God I don't have any experience with harlots (prostitutes) but do observe they are often made up to be attractive and are trained to attract men with flirting eyes. Some things just don't change.

Let us expand this to all that is pretty but bad and to spiritual harlotry, that which turns our hearts away from God. Sin often presents itself as beautiful; that's part of the deceptiveness of sin. Alcohol ads show attractive young people having a good time, but I've never seen one based upon a DUI traffic accident, a battered wife or jail cells filled with those who murdered innocent life while under the influence. Tobacco ads never show someone with the last stages of lung cancer, emaciated and struggling to breathe. The gambling industry shows successful, affluent-looking young people smiling with joy, not the actual ruin gambling habits have brought to many lives.

May God open our eyes today to all that is "pretty but bad" and give us a resolve to smush the destructive bugs!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we pray that You would set our affections on  things, both inanimate and human, that draw us closer to the throne of God. May godly discernment guide and enable us to smush deceptive traps set up by our enemy, drawing our attention away from that which does harm and setting our affections on that which draws us to Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jesus, There's No One Like You"  Video  Prayers of the Saints Live

Hotel Hershey
Hotel Hershey
We often drive through the front entry of this beautiful motel just to observe the beautiful flowers.

Model train layout
The children really enjoyed this huge model train layout at the AACA Museum in Hershey.

Golf cart ride
After our visit to Chocolate World and the AACA Museum and dinner at the Red Robin yesterday a neighbor came over to drive the children on a golf cart on our trail. Janae invited Stephen and Ester to ride along while I walked with Jane on the same trail (guess who got more exercise?).

Coming up behind a JK Mechanical van this morning reminded us of a story we wrote a few years ago (see here)

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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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