Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Crook Point Bascule Bridge, Providence, RI
Crook Point Bascule Bridge, Providence, RI
(Click for larger version on Wikipedia)

"A Lesson From A 'Stuck Up' Bridge"

Message summary: Today we urge you to heed the words of our daily Scripture.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Along I-195 between Providence and East Providence RI you pass the Crook Point Bascule Bridge. It has been stuck in the open position since 1976, the year we were married. When the rail line was closed the bridge was left in the open position for boats to pass under. It always grabs my attention when I pass it and when we returned from the Cape this last weekend I told Brooksyne, who was sitting in the passenger seat, to snap a photo. It is one of several quirky Rhode Island sites, including the big blue bug we passed a few minutes later along I-95, one of Ester's favorite sightings when we lived in the area.

The bridge has become somewhat a local icon of urban decay and has a nickname as the "Stuck-Up Bridge". However I read there are plans to demolish the bridge in the next several years which is facing opposition from many local residents. To tell you the truth I think I would miss seeing that bridge when we are up that way!

Today let us consider a lesson from the "stuck up" Bascule bridge, but apply it to people. The dictionary defines "stuck up" as "snobbish, conceited; believing oneself to be better than others; haughty; arrogant or egotistical." So we would say a stuck up person is someone who is snobbish, who thinks and acts like he or she is better or superior to everyone else. We've all met people who are stuck up.

Brooksyne and I still recall being recipients of some "stuck up" people when we were in Bible College (where the terminally naive might think no one would ever be stuck up!)  In our sophomore year we were assigned to be co-workers with two other couples at a small church (we called them out-stations). They came from more affluent backgrounds whereas Brooksyne and I were both from working class families, though we're uncertain as to why they chose to be so aloof in our working relationship. Sadly, they conveyed a very stuck up attitude the entire semester so our nearly twenty mile commute was somewhat icy since they preferred not to converse with us. It was hurtful and we both remember the uncomfortable experience to this day. Hopefully their attitude changed before they entered vocational ministry, if they ever did.

Our daily text should be memorized and heeded by every follower of Christ. Today we shared of being on the receiving side of stuck up people but frankly I am aware there have been times I have been on the other side as well.

The online preceptaustin.org study site has this note regarding today’s text, A right estimate of oneself will always be:
  • a humble estimate (Galatians 6:3-5);
  • a recognition that, in ourselves, we can do nothing (John 15:5),
  • but that in Christ we can be used to the glory of God (John 15:8).
"For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think." In context Paul is addressing one’s attitude toward spiritual gifts but the principle of how we are to view ourselves surely applies more broadly. He wants us not to consider our gift to be of greater value than another saint’s gift but to have a humble attitude. Humility is a virtue that all believers should desire. It’s also a virtue that will disappear once you boast that you have it. Humility means putting Jesus first, others second, and yourself last (“J.O.Y.” is Jesus, then Others, and finally You). Humility is a lack of pre-occupation with self.

Paul further challenges his readers to think "so as to have sound judgment". This means literally to be of sound mind. The idea is to to keep one’s mind safe and sound or to be in one’s right mind. To think of one’s self soberly, put a moderate estimate on one’s self, curb one’s passions. It means to be able to reason and think properly in a sane manner. We must have understanding about practical matters and thus we will act sensibly.

"As God has allotted to each a measure of faith." God allots this measure of faith as He determines. We are gifted differently.

Today we urge you to heed these words of Scripture: "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we know that in ourselves we are nothing, but in You, we are made complete. Our identity is found in Christ and that is the basis of our self-worth making us valuable and capable of worthy service through Christ who dwells within us. Help us not to be consumed with thoughts of how others view us, but to think soberly with good judgment so that we do not look to the wrong source for approval or imitate that which deglorifies Christ. Help us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Instead may we always be saying and doing that which is helpful for building others up in Christ Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Humble Yourselves"  Video  Maranatha! Music

"May The Mind Of Christ My Savior"   Video

Rhode Island’s "Stuck Up Bridge" Just Might Be Its Quirkiest Attraction (This includes some history and photos of the bridge)

Crook Point Bascule Bridge, Providence, RI
Here's a photo Brooksyne took of the bridge this last weekend from the freeway.

Big Blue Bug
The Big Blue Bug advertises an extermination company and has been seen along the highway at least since we moved to that area in 1993.

Lebanon County rural scene
We resumed our chaplaincy visitation yesterday after our New England trip with calls to Lebanon County which is in the peak of spring beauty. This bucolic view is on Mount Zion Road
Click on photo to enlarge

Finally today:

Backyard nesting robin
Early this morning I was out in our backyard and discovered a robin had made a rather sloppy nest on top of some planters we had stacked on a shelf behind our barn. Seems like a very precarious place to me. But we'll make sure and not move those planters for the next several weeks! Later I checked when she was away and no eggs yet.
Click on photo to enlarge

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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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