A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, November 23, 2020
An active rail bridge along the Northwest Lancaster County Rail Trail.
Message summary: This Thanksgiving season most particularly, but really in an ongoing way, let us remember His benefits, the many blessings we have in God. May we "forget not all His benefits".
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Psalm 103:2).
Years ago John Keefer, our pastor at the time, preached a Thanksgiving message from Psalm 103. In commenting on our daily text he stated, "I notice as I get older my forgetter is working better and better." Well, an improving "forgetter" is something I am sure many of us can identify with!
We can see this in our daily lives. We both enjoy our coffee and often carry a cup around with us as we go about our morning chores. But periodically Brooksyne or I end up with a second fresh mug of coffee because we can’t remember where we left the first one in spite of trying to retrace our steps looking for it. Problem is we set the cup down and then forget where all we’ve been. Sometimes we find half-filled coffee cups days later!
Whatever age we are or to whatever extent our "Forgetter" is working, we need to heed the daily text, a portion of one of the grand chapters of the Bible. This is a Psalm of David.
The Psalm begins with the phrase, "Bless the Lord, O my soul" and repeats the very same phrase in the second verse. One Bible commentator questions, "Had he been very sleepy before?" The possible reason he does this is that he is being very real. As sure as we begin to praise God we are too quickly distracted or our minds drift and our praise toward God is quickly ended. The Psalmist’s repetition shows us the importance and essential need for continual, relentless adoration and thanksgiving toward God. Again and again we must rouse within our spirit the directive to worship God exclusively and wholeheartedly.
When we worship God wholeheartedly we offer to Him "all that is within me". That includes our heart, will, affections, mind and emotions.
In the midst of our worship the Psalmist advises us to, "Forget not all His benefits". The benefits God offers His children far, far exceed any package an employer might offer an employee. And those benefits we must remember are daily blessings, really moment by moment blessings.
Forgetting can be a blessing in some matters. I’m glad certain hurts of the past have been forgotten or at least shoved back into the deepest recesses of our memory. Forgetfulness is not all bad. Without it the pain of our failures, losses, and painful actions from others would be almost unbearable.
It’s an interesting thing the way the mind works. Gil’s Exposition of the Bible gives this interesting perspective:
"Memory is very treacherous about the best things; by a strange perversity, engendered by the fall, it treasures up the refuse of the past and permits priceless treasures to lie neglected, it is tenacious of grievances and holds benefits all too loosely. Observe that he calls all that is within him to remember all the Lord’s benefits. For our task our energies should be suitably called out. God’s all cannot be praised with less than our all."
Today’s Scripture call from David will benefit us all as we "forget not all His benefits". This Thanksgiving season most particularly, but really in an ongoing way, let us remember His benefits, the many blessings we have in God. The song “Count Your Blessings” comes to mind:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we do well to daily dwell on Your benefits that give us cause to pause and praise You with heartfelt thanksgiving. Why we often focus on one unpleasantry turning it over and over in our minds and yet neglect the multiple blessings that pour into our lives daily is a work of the enemy. When we willfully, dutifully call to mind Your blessings we are filled with a heart of thanksgiving and it overflows in our praise toward You, in the outflow of our conversations to others and in our actions toward those around us. I bless You, O Lord! I bless Your holy name with all that is within me through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"All His Benefits" Video Integrity Music
"Bless His Holy Name" Video Andraé Crouch
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord o my soul) Video Matt Redman
"Count Your Blessings" Video Song Of Praise
Saturday morning I took a fifteen mile bike ride on the Northwest Lancaster County Rail Trail with Jonathan, a friend from a company we serve. Here he's at the White Cliffs of Conoy overlooking the Susquehanna River. The cliffs are the result of a limestone quarry that once existed up the hill from the cliffs. Once pulled from the ground, the limestone and dolomite were crushed and burned to create a variety of products for local farms and businesses. Over the years, the excess limestone and dolomite were piled up near the river, creating large white mountains up to 30 feet tall. It’s entirely possible that the White Cliffs of Conoy is the first great industrial waste tourist attraction in the world!
Driving back from a visit to JK Mechanical in Willow Street on Friday morning I passed the Corn Wagon produce stand that finally had a late fall delicacy, fresh Brussels Sprouts on the stalk!
Freshly picked from the fields and neatly arranged on the wagon.
Stephen's Chore: Closeup of stalks before he cuts or breaks them off the stalks.
Brooksyne's Chore: Aroma fills the air as garlic, onion, and peppers are stirred into the sautéed Brussel sprouts. And for the finishing touch, a sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese on the veggies followed by a few shakes of balsamic vinegar.
Stephen's note: We have been reading and hearing about the "French Laundry" in the news a lot lately. I guess it's in a "laundromat", which is now a very high-priced restaurant in California. After looking at their extravagant prices we decided to give a more sophisticated name to our food dishes to increase their value as well... so here's the fancy French name for this dish, "Choux de Bruxelles sautés aux poivrons et au vinaigre balsamique de fromage feta" (courtesy of Google translate)
I bought this mug several years ago when we visited the Intel headquarters museum and visitor's center in Santa Clara, California. I later gave it to a programmer who works with code all day long. This is an example of the digital code that runs on our computers. Can you guess what it says on the mug?
Can anyone tell me what this says?
Hint: It's one of my favorite Scripture verses. I am glad I didn't have to memorize it this way! See here for answer: https://binarytotext.net/ (copy and paste code into this widget).
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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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