A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, August 30, 2021
Sunflowers facing east along 283
(click on photo to enlarge)
"When The Sun Comes Up"
Message summary: Regardless of these difficult times, let us truly be satisfied with God's unfailing love. Let us sing for joy and be glad all our days, on this day and every day!
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"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations." "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." (Psalm 90:1,12,14).
Yesterday morning we passed a stunning sight along Rt 283 as we headed to our church service. A huge field of sunflowers in full bloom were all in one accord (Acts 2:1), facing eastward toward the rising sun. We share a photo above that can be enlarged but it really doesn't do the overall view justice. Ideally you would need a drone photo from over the field!
According to a study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, "sunflowers face the rising sun because increased morning warmth attracts more bees and also helps the plants reproduce more efficiently".
But as I drove past the field it helped prepare my heart for worship as I considered a spiritual lesson from the massive spread of sunflowers. Psalm 90:14 came to mind, "Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days". In my mind, sunflowers in their peak bloom, look like happy faces that we learned to draw as small children and we often post as emojis. So when I see thousands upon thousands of sunflowers they look to me like they're happy and give me an impression that they are fully satisfied in God's goodness toward them.
Shane and Shane have a song based on Psalm 90 that has really blessed us this last year, especially the thoughtful introduction with the passionate reading of Scripture and prayer, so fitting for our time. Whatever stress or even despair you may be facing this Scripture gives perspective. Shane expresses the vital importance of seeking satisfaction in God's unfailing love in the morning. (See below for link to song).
When the sun comes up satisfy us
before the day has passed us by
before our hearts forget all Your goodness
Satisfy us with Your love.
Satisfaction can be an emotional response to good things such as a fulfilling marriage, a happy family, a job promotion, educational attainment, or acquiring more of this and that, but these lack the overall true source of satisfaction. Everyone seeking lasting satisfaction for the soul will find that true lasting satisfaction is found only in a dynamic, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Psalm 90 was written by Moses some 3,500 years ago and offers one of the richest prayers found in the Psalms. He cries out to God, "Satisfy us in the morning", thus acknowledging the source of one's satisfied life is rooted in God. Even more specifically, he highlights one of God's characteristics; His "unfailing love".
God's unfailing love is a stark contrast to the many "satisfaction" offers flashed in neon lights which brings temporal satisfaction at best. This satisfaction can't be stored in a safety deposit box. It can't be sold to the highest bidder, traded in for a newer model, or made available only to the smart, rich, young or attractive.
Just think back to your youthful days and what you thought would satisfy. The deep, abiding satisfaction the soul longs for can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. It's a treasure for here and now and is good for all eternity. Psalm 145:16 reads, "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing".
Moses said "in the morning". The Hebrew here literally means "at the break of day". Consider the phrase from the classic hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy", when we proclaim in song, "early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee". As we begin each day with the deep assurance of God's unfailing love we are filled and equipped, so that we can live the day in victory, sing for joy, and be glad our entire day; in the ups and downs, the quiet and busy aspects of our day as well.
Let us be very intent on experiencing this deep satisfaction that God has provided. The Psalmist's prayer is so powerful. God alone is the source of satisfaction. Regardless of our personal circumstances and these difficult times, let us truly be satisfied with God's unfailing love. Let us sing for joy and be glad all our days, this day and every day!
You have been our dwelling place
O everlasting God
Before You formed the mountaintops
You were before it all.
Teach us Lord to number our days on earth
And give us more wisdom in the secret heart
As you display amazing grace in Jesus Christ for us
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, our minds are consumed with the events so distressing in these very troubled days. We remain steadfast in prayer as we are made aware of those in harm's way, and those whose deaths have left families in deep grief, pain and confusion. For each of us our days are numbered so we ask for hearts of wisdom and discernment to consider that which has lasting value beyond our existence here and now, that which brings eternal dividends. When we turn our hearts toward Your unfailing love we find joy and satisfaction that will not be determined by the events or non-events of this day or the troubles facing our nation and world. When human love is fleeting or disappoints us, help us to remember that it is Your unfailing love that will satisfies our soul. We want to listen carefully to You, gratefully receive Your daily provisions, and delight ourselves in Your abundance. In doing so we can be victors in this life and in the one to come. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Psalm 90" Video Shane and Shane (with lyrics)
"Psalm 90" Video Shane and Shane (concert version with opening Scripture reading and prayer)
"Christ Be Magnified" Video Calvary Church from yesterday's service. I considered the sunflowers I had seen on the way to church when we sang these thoughtfully written words:
Were creation suddenly articulate
With a thousand tongues to lift one cry
Then from north to south and east to west
We'd hear 'Christ be magnified!'
(If sunflowers were given a voice, perhaps they would in unison sing, "Christ be magnified")
"The Thousand Reasons" Video Matt Redman Brooksyne's Note: We nearly forgot this wonderful praise song with words very fitting for today's theme, "The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning. It's time to sing Your song again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes." Have you ever put this stanza to the test? I did on a Saturday before I was to lead this song in worship the next day. I prayed, "Lord, whatever happens today let me be victoriously singing your praise throughout the day and when the evening comes." That very morning I lost my purse with important documents and credit cards. I started to panic but the words of the song played over and over in my mind. I had the family looking for hours into the early evening and could not find my purse. Every time fear started to grow in my heart praise overruled. Finally that night I found that it had scooted behind a door that we had fully opened. We thanked God for bringing it to light and I also thanked Him for helping me to have victory over the otherwise very troubling ordeal!
Following our church service yesterday we gathered with the Lapp family at the Old Windmill Farm before loading them up in our two vehicles and heading west to our house for a long and enjoyable afternoon. Because good friends have a hard time parting we got them home after dark, but chores were still waiting out in the barn. The children started back to school today. This year only three will be attending since the three older children are now finished with school and the youngest, Stephen, is still a pre-schooler.
Before we headed west back to our house across the county we visited the family collie, Kiera, who is feeding her ten pups.
(click on photo to enlarge)
We always enjoy the animals on the Old Windmill Farm, especially the little ones, and in no time Stephen found a baby goat to hold!
Family Size Peach cobbler!
After a cookout on the grill we went for a long walk on the Donegal Springs trail. It was "required" walking to whisk away a few calories we picked up from the juicy Peach Cobbler al a mode. Oh, to have the energy of the little ones who don't just walk but take off running and laughing as they lead the pets alongside them!
Each of the children take turns throwing rings to Mollie which keeps her very happy and somewhat demanding!
Here's the same sunflower field as our lead photo as we faced west with the sunflowers all in one accord facing east!
(click on photo to enlarge)
We normally share photos of the sunset since our house faces west but our eastern view is obstructed so we rarely see sunrises, however, they are also stunning out here in the country! Friday we left early for a chaplaincy visit and passed the Kraybill Mennonite Cemetery around the corner from our house and watched the sun rising as we drove along. Of course, it was more outstanding in live view!
(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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