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, June 9, 2021

Dreibelbis covered bridge, Berks County
Dreibelbis Covered Bridge, Berks County built in 1869.
Notice the distinctive hex sign, a form of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, above the bridge  featured on many of the barns in Berks County.*
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"The Blessing Of Road Signs"

Message summary: On the spiritual highway road signs and guideposts are surely the directions in the Holy Scriptures, God's life map for each of us. But there are a lot misleading signposts in life and in many cases people are intentionally creating signage that directs us in the wrong direction. How vitally important to discern the right signage in life! The Scriptures are an absolutely reliable map to direct our paths in the course of living here on earth while also directing our hearts toward the life hereafter.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take" (Jeremiah 31:21).  "The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life" (Proverbs 16:17).

Returning from our bike riding trip in Bethlehem this last weekend we moseyed through a scenic rural portion of Berks County northeast of Reading, PA. To "mosey" is defined as "to walk or move (drive) in a leisurely manner", and we certainly do that when we're exploring an unfamiliar location.

Moseying is something I (Stephen) especially enjoy and, after 45 years of marriage, Brooksyne has come to expect it and is patient with me, since she also enjoys the sights we see along the way. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "Not all who wander are lost", which to me has the sense of exploration. For instance we passed a place I mentally noted for a future visit called the "Found Objects of Industry, Inc".

AtBerks County Road sign one point we were heading up a hill after driving through the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge near Virginville when we saw a road sign with some rather odd directions. It was intended to be a caution for a left bend in the road but apparently a bolt had come out from the post and it had flipped upside down and thus conveyed a rather confusing message since it indicates the next bend will take you right into the telephone pole.

There are a lot of signposts in life that are that way and in many cases people are intentionally creating signage that directs us in the wrong direction. How vitally important to discern the right signage in life!

Rt 66 signIn the first daily text the Lord directed Jeremiah to "Set up road signs; put up guideposts".  When I travel I appreciate periodic road signs informing me that I'm on the right highway, as well as caution signs intended to protect me. Even if I am familiar with the route I value these signs that assure me that I am going the right way. Hebrews 12:1 refers to "the race marked out for us". (The Amplified Bible states, "the appointed course of the race that is set before us".)

We are all presently on the road to our eternal destination. In creating our free will God has given us the choice to steer our lives in the direction of our choosing. Since there are many roads we may travel He equips us with the Bible road map that tells us what to expect when we choose a particular route.  One road is broad, well-traveled and seems very enticing. But since the futile end of this road extends beyond our initial view, Solomon warns travelers, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Every one of us needs to, "Take note of the highway, the road that you take". We are all on a highway. Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13,14). I want to be among those traveling the road that leads to life!

The Scriptures are an absolutely reliable map to direct the course of life toward the highway to heaven.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, this journey of faith began at mile zero which was, for those who believe, the moment we realized the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross. After we repented of our sins and placed our faith in Christ we began this faith journey and the milestones along the way have assured us that the route we're on leads to eternal life. We reject the philosophies from the broad road and follow Your roadmap that keeps us on the highway of holiness as we are ever watchful for the prowling enemy attempting to steer us off course. Though sorrow and mourning have accompanied us on this journey, we will enter Zion rejoicing and singing as You crown us with everlasting joy! And the marvelous blessing is that the end of this earthly journey is really only the beginning of our eternal journey! Thank You, Jesus, for making it possible! Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Heaven Medley"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir "Walking up the King's Highway!"

"Therefore The Redeemed of the LORD Shall Return"  Video  Maranatha! Vocal Band (Based on verse alluded to in today's prayer).

* Hex signs are a form of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, related to fraktur, found in the Fancy Dutch tradition in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Barn paintings, usually in the form of "stars in circles", began to appear on the landscape in the early 19th century and became widespread decades later when commercial ready-mixed paint became readily available. By the 1950s commercialized hex signs, aimed at the tourist market, became popular and these often include stars, compass roses, stylized birds known as distelfinks, hearts, tulips, or a tree of life. Two schools of thought exist on the meaning of hex signs. One school ascribes a talismanic (possessing or believed to possess magic power) nature to the signs; the other sees them as purely decorative. Both schools recognize that there are sometimes superstitions associated with certain hex sign themes and neither ascribes strong magical power to them. The Amish do not use hex signs. (From Wikipedia article)

For the terminally inquisitive here is the area we moseyed about in Berks County (google map)

The origin of the name Virginville is obscure. Some say it is the English translation of a Native American word, while others believe the community was named for virgin forests in the area. However, the leading theory is that the name is derived after your maternal figure. "Virgin" may be an alternate translation of the Indian-named Maiden Creek, which runs through the town and also meets up with Sacony Creek. Pennsylvania has many interestingly named town and roads including a road near Virginville named, "Witchcraft Road" (From Wikipedia article)

Several photos from our trip last weekend as we moseyed through rural Berks County, PA.

Berks County scene
Berks County rural scene
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Berks County Berry farm and orchard
We got some fresh strawberries and rhubarb from the Berry farm and orchard
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Finally today:

Church sign in Lebanon County
We often are able to mosey, even as we travel from company to company in our chaplaincy visitation. Yesterday we passed this thought-provoking sign in rural Lebanon County. It brought to mind a song we have been enjoying titled "Battle Belongs" which has this verse,

So when I fight I’ll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God the battle belongs to You
And every fear I lay at Your feet
I’ll sing through the night
Oh God the battle belongs to You

"Battle Belongs" Video  Lifespring Worship

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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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