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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Friday, May 14, 2021

Starsburg, PA
After our first early morning chaplain visit yesterday we had breakfast at the Speckled Hen restaurant in Strasburg, PA and as we left this view across the street reminded us of a bygone era.
(Click on photo for larger view)

"The Blessing Of Good Roots"

Message summary: May our life be as good soil, receptive to God's Word with good roots. Thank God for His ever-abundant supply of spiritual nutrition that provides a foundation "rooted" in the living Christ!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away" (Luke 8:13). "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness" (Colossians 2:6,7).

Removing field rocksWe've been sharing for several months about improvements to the field across from our house. Trees have been removed as well as large rock outcroppings to make the field more productive and less likely to damage equipment. Yesterday afternoon a tractor with a front loader went through the field with several men and boys picking up rocks from the field.

Today's first text is taken from the explanation to the parable of the sower in which Jesus compares four different soil types with the receptivity of the human heart to His message.

The parable itself (Luke 8:4-8) describes these soil types as:

Packed soil, "some fell beside the road, and it was trampled underfoot and the birds of the air ate it up."
Rocky soil "Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture."
Thorny soil "Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out."
Good soil, "Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great."

The problem with rocky soil in agriculture is that the seed withers away because it has no moisture. In the explanation concerning our life these seeds have "no firm root".

Today's second text from Colossians 2:7, states we are to be "rooted and built up in Him..."

Notice the elements of a fruitful relationship that should follow our conversion to Christ when we receive Him. It's expressed in the phrase "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,

    * continue to live your lives in Him,
    * rooted and
    * built up in Him,
    * strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and
    * overflowing with thankfulness"

Colossians 2:6,7Today let us consider just the word "rooted" from this text. Paul is likely drawing here on a familiar agricultural analogy. Perhaps he had in mind the teaching of our Lord, who warned of the deadly spiritual condition of rootlessness in the Parable of the Sower. Jesus said of the seed that fell on rocky soil, "Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away" (Luke 8:13).

Roots are a vital part of the believer's life. We are to be "rooted and built up in Him". The Greek word for root is "rhizoo" and suggests stability, nourishment and life derived from contact with Christ ("in Him"). As a plant's roots sink deep into the rich soil for long term stability and nourishment, so too we should root our faith deep into sound Biblical doctrine and solid spiritual food that comes from knowing Christ. These well-nourished roots will keep us strong forever.

In our growing walk with Christ we find life-giving soil and a sustaining foundation. However, we have the responsibility to implement the means of grace that God has ordained for our "rooting." We all need a good, solid, ever-growing root system that reaches deep into the spiritual soil for our nourishment and stability that God graciously provides. This will render us both faithful and fruitful.

Developing and maintaining a solid spiritual root system includes an active, lifelong pursuit of reading, studying, meditating, memorizing, and obeying God's Word; regular communion with God through prayer; sharing with others of the good things of God; influencing others to come to faith and helping them to grow in their faith. As we grow in Him there is more and more that Christ reveals to us through the Bible, His Spirit, spiritual leaders, everyday experiences, trials, and life's circumstances. Two of the greatest ways we deepen our roots is by our Christian service and obedience to Christ's teachings.

Are you rooted in Him? Are your spiritual roots growing deeper and spreading like the roots of a tree? Thank God for His ever-abundant supply of spiritual nutrition that provides a foundation "rooted" in the living Christ!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we are so very grateful that our family roots are not the sole source of who we are nor does it dictate what we can accomplish. Our spiritual roots, because of our well-grounded faith in You, goes much deeper and spreads much broader. We are able to accomplish the impossible and overcome life's difficulties because our roots are connected to the Miracle Worker. May the living water flowing from Your Spirit quench our thirst and the spiritual food from Your inspired Holy Word satisfy our hunger causing us to grow in spiritual maturity so that we remain safe and secure, firmly rooted in You. Father, though the winds and storms may shake us from time to time, it is in You that we live and move and have our being! Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"God of All My Days"  Video  Casting Crowns

"Goodness of God"  Video  Rhett Walker

As we shared in our Thursday message yesterday was Ascension Day and made for some interesting sights as we did chaplain visitation in eastern Lancaster County. The Amish treat the day as a holiday and the roads were very busy.

Paradise, PA
Eshleman’s Mill Covered Bridge, near Paradise, PA
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White Horse, PA
I took Brooksyne over to the Country Gift and Thrift Shoppe in White Horse PA, one of her favorite MCC thrift stores. I waited sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch and saw a variety of interesting traffic pass by. I would guess some 50 old order "vehicles" passed by while I waited. We enjoy seeing the children look out of the back of the buggy and often waving. Reminds me of the era when we had a station wagon with the back seat facing backwards. Anybody else remember that!
(Click on photo for larger view)

White Horse, PA
This family is traveling in style on an exceptionally pleasant day.
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White Horse, PA
I noticed as they passed by many were sure interested in looking toward the back of the thrift store.
(Click on photo for larger view)

Bird in Hand, PA
Heading back toward Lancaster near Bird in Hand we passed this buggy hauling the gear for a fun family outing.

Finally today:

Usually our chaplaincy visits to various companies is a one on one visitation with employees with very little drama. We have many opportunities to minister but we certainly keep confidentiality in mind and thus rarely refer to our work unless we can do so in a way that protects a confidence.

But yesterday was the second time I (Brooksyne) visited during a time that guests at a rather nice hotel were certainly the talk of the morning. In both encounters over the past months I was witness to guests who abuse drugs in their motel room, destroy property, and refuse to leave their room until the police arrive and force them to do so. This morning the guest began to throw his belongings out the window (and there was plenty since he'd been there over a week). When he learned that the police would arrive if he didn't check out he rattled off in my hearing, "I'll just get out my medical card", the one that permits marijuana, plus other things I won't disclose. It was very evident that his situation was not medical but immoral in the way he carried on, broke the rules of drug use in the building, and the way he swore at the manager. Our hospitality workers deal with a lot of misbehavior and dangerous threats. The housekeepers get to clean up the terrible mess and destruction that these kind of people leave behind. Even more sad is the fact that a good number of the people who book hotels during the pandemic are using their stimulus checks, unemployment benefits and other government freebies to get high and stay in the hotel room over a period of days. That is a sad fact that causes great distress to those who must deal with such bad actors. We have a feeling what we see is just the tip of the iceberg concerning how messed up our labor markets are. Those who work are working very hard while so many just won't work! We see this virtually everywhere. We mentioned having breakfast yesterday morning at the Speckled Hen, a small eatery in Strasburg. This banner is above their website: "Please note our Temporary Hours listed below: We will close at 3pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to give our staff a much need and well deserved respite while we continue to seek new hires."

We are preparing a message on this topic we expect to share next week.

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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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