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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Towering mushroom (photo by John Thomas)
A Lancaster County mushroom!

"Our Best Work Is In The Dark!"

Message summary: Just as it can be said of mushrooms it can also be said of Christians, figuratively speaking, that "We Do Our Best Work In The Dark". Now to be clear this is not to assert that we are to walk in darkness. As Christians we are called to walk in the light but since we live in this dark world we still do some of our work in the dark.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"They grope in darkness with no light" (Job 12:25). "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:8-11).

Mushroom soupWe had a tasty bowl of S. Clyde Weaver Mushroom Soup for dinner last night but that's not what prompted today's message. It was the above photo that John, a local reader, took of a mushroom or perhaps a toadstool since I can't tell the difference. (See below.) I am pretty sure the mushroom is not as large as it appears!

We both enjoy eating mushrooms. In addition to soup, we use it as a pizza topping, cut up in salads, omelets, or brussel sprouts, etc. Mushrooms are nutritionally valuable having many necessary vitamins (a 3 ounce portabella cap has more potassium than a banana).

Kennett Square PA water towerOur area of Pennsylvania, especially Chester County to the southeast of us, grows a lot of mushrooms. In fact Kennett Square, PA (Google maps) is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World because there is no other location in the world that grows as many mushrooms in as concentrated an area. Pennsylvania accounts for some 65 percent of the total volume of mushroom sales.

Mushrooms are kind of like honey in the sense that you really don't want to put a lot of thought into how it's made (honey) or they're grown (mushrooms). Several years ago we went to Kennett Square for their annual "Mushroom Festival" and had a number of delicacies made with mushrooms, including ice cream!

A mushroom growing operation emits a rather distinctive, quite unpleasant odor due to the medium they are grown in, something you would probably rather not know.* Although mushrooms are classified as vegetables, technically they are not plants but part of the kingdom called fungi, which is something else you probably don't want to think about when you are eating them!

The To-Jo mushroom company has an interesting slogan that we saw on one of their trucks, "We Do Our Best Work In The Dark". Mushrooms indeed grow in the dark so that's a fitting statement.

Mushroom ad

But the phrase "We Do Our Best Work In The Dark" can be said not only of mushrooms but of Christians. Now to be clear this is not to assert that we are to walk in darkness. As Christians we are called to walk in the light but since we live in this dark world we still do some of our work in the dark.

Some of the most outstanding examples of witness are when Christ followers work in dark places. We consider those seeking to uphold Biblical moral standards in a dark world where good is called evil, and evil is called good, those who take a stand in regard to life in opposition to the powerful abortion proponents, those who work in rescue missions in "skid row" and in many other ways. These are dark places that need the light of Jesus Christ.

An ancient word from Job is so pertinent, "They grope in darkness with no light". This verse deals with leaders. "He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away. He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth’s people and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in darkness with no light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man" (Job 12:23-25). This is certainly a portion worthy of further consideration and seems so incredibly descriptive of the times in which we now live!

But the radiant light of God's Holy Word exposes and dispels darkness. When God's servants live as children of light, darkness is dissipated.

All of us, in one way or another, have some darkness around us. By God's grace and through His might, as believers we want our light to shine brightly to expose and then dispel the darkness! We cannot dabble in darkness and still live in the light. God has not called us to blend in but rather to stand out as those whose lives are filled "with goodness, righteousness and truth". When we try to blend in we are putting ourselves at danger since one force will eventually overtake the other.

We were once darkness but are now light in the Lord and thus we are to live as children of light. We must have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. At this time when crusaders of darkness are applauded and in many instances upheld as role models, let us hear the resounding call God has placed upon us to "live as children of light!" while also doing our best work in the dark.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Jesus, You are the Light of the world. And because You reside in our hearts we are a reflection of Your holy light. The world we live in is dark and growing even darker as Satan's sinister and deceitful schemes are being played out. Help us not to look the other way when darkness is spreading lest the darkness overshadow us in time. Instead would You empower us through the power of Your Holy Spirit to shine brightly in a wicked and decadent society. We come against the darkness by speaking against wickedness in all forms. And, Lord, help us to be consistent not only in what we speak but the manner in which we live. May the fruit of light be evident in all we do in Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Light Your World"  Video  Newsong

"Go Light Your World"  Video  Kathy Troccoli

A Trip to the Alien Planet That Grows America's Mushrooms Chester County, Pennsylvania produces a whopping half of all the mushrooms in the United States, and its spooky farms don't look like anything else on Earth.

"How do mushrooms grow?"  Video

Kennett Square Mushroom Festival

To-Jo Mushroom  Video

* The mushroom itself is simply a 'fruit' of the mycelium that releases spores. The mycelium grows in a black compost of straw and horse manure.

Finally today:

Chuck Shupp
Brooksyne continues to recover well but is homebound for awhile so I went solo yesterday. She expresses her appreciation for your continued thoughts, prayers, and messages of get well. Following a chaplain visit to Audrey's in Lebanon County I headed over to Hamburg PA to have breakfast at the Crackerbarrel with my older brother Pat. Then back down through Reading to Lancaster County I stopped at the S. Clyde Weaver store and and visited with Chuck Shupp (photo). I met Chuck shortly after moving to Lancaster County through CBMC, a Christian businessmen group. I hadn't seen him in several years but it's always good to see a man staying faithful!

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