A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, October 22, 2021
Strasburg Railroad Steam Engine
Yesterday they were running the old steam engine on the excursion run.
(Click on photo for larger image)
"Staying On Straight Street"
Message summary: Today let us focus our attention on that which lies ahead as we stretch toward the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. Let us firmly resolve within in our hearts that we will stay on the straight way, not veering to the right or the left.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"The Lord told him (Ananias), 'Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying'" (Acts 9:11). "Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path" (Psalm 27:11). "They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness" (2 Peter 2:15).
Periodically in these Daily Encouragement messages we mention interesting street names we see along life's way such as "Bible Road" in Central Pennsylvania, "Thankless Lane" near Rising Sun, Maryland, "Delilah Road" near Atlantic City, New Jersey (a fitting name for what that city became!) and "Easy Street" in Bloomsburg, PA.
Whoever named streets near Porters Lake in Nova Scotia apparently got really lazy, because three connecting streets are called “This Street,” “That Street,” and “The Other Street.” It sure must be hard to give directions there! (See on Google maps)
There is only one named street in the entire Bible, "Straight Street" in Damascus where Ananias was instructed to go and meet Saul, who of course became Paul. The photo to the left is an online picture of Straight Street taken around 1900. It appears to be a rather pleasant, peaceful scene. Based upon events in recent years in Syria this is probably not the case today.
During the Greek period in Damascus, the city was re-designed by Hippodamus, who gave the city a grid structure. The longest of these streets, about a mile in length, was called Straight Street. The eastern half of the street, leading to the Bab Sharqi gate is now named "Bab Sharqi Street". This can be seen on a Google map and indeed appears to be quite straight and is still utilized to this day.
Today let us consider a spiritual "straight street" we are to stay on!
David's prayer in Psalm 27:11 should be a daily prayer of ours as well, "Teach me Your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path".
Throughout the Bible following the straight way or straight path is emphasized. Proverbs 11:5 states, "The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness". John the Baptist came to "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him". And we often paraphrase the words of our Lord Jesus in regard to living by "the straight and narrow way". (This is taken from a phrase in Matthew 7:14.)
But in the second daily text the Apostle Peter speaks of those who "have left the straight way". Today we will all make decisions and be confronted with temptations of various sorts to leave the straight way. Our enemy wants to throw in a few curves that steer us off the straight way. Many continue to wander off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, and love the wages of wickedness.
Balaam is a prophet mentioned in Numbers most famously for having a conversation with a donkey. He did not have a consistent walk with the Lord but rather wavered in his loyalties and commitment.
The Precept Austin online commentary notes,
"Doctrine is important - Balaam's doctrine polluted their mind and led to their unrighteous acts. False teachers are master purveyors of false doctrine. We desperately need churches where the pastors are teaching sound doctrine to renew minds able to identify and resist false doctrine that is creeping into even the most conservative, evangelical churches."
Today let us focus our attention on that which lies ahead as we stretch toward the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Let us firmly resolve within in our hearts that we will stay on the straight way, not veering to the right or the left.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You've given us the road map to follow through the guidance of Your Holy Scriptures. You've established that Your way is the only way to eternal life. It is the only way that we can have victory in our walk here on earth and the assurance of a victorious eternity in heaven. Just as John the Baptist went before You preparing straight paths, I thank You for going before me preparing the way for my journey. Though Scripture describes the Christian's walk as being a straight and narrow path it has steep inclines and its route will also take me through deep valleys. If I wander off-course I'm grateful for Your Holy Spirit who reminds me of my commitment to follow You and the importance of my example to those who walk beside me or behind me. Let us not veer from our heavenly destination. Amen.
Yesterday morning we visited the Old Windmill Farm for the "Farmhouse Experience".
Other visitors were in attendance from New Jersey, Russia, and Maryland.
Jesse and Anna invited us to join one of the "Farmhouse Experience" tour groups. (Video) We were pleased to see how much the guests enjoyed the experience and Jesse does a great job of explaining his Amish heritage as well as his witness for the Lord.
The process of making fresh cider begins with cutting up fresh apples which go into the press; stems, seeds and possibly a few bees swarming the process!
Pressing the apples for cider. Churning the butter was easier than turning the wheel for the cider so Jesse did most of the work in this chore though everyone took a turn just for the experience.
Turning fresh cream to make butter in this antique glass butter churn. Several visitors had a turn at this chore since it takes 15-20 minutes. I (Brooksyne) was taken back to childhood memories with this "chore" as we had a crock butter churn with a dasher that my siblings and I took turns in pushing the dasher up and down to churn the cream till it turned to butter. We had a milk cow and often made butter or homemade ice cream with the generous cream that came from the cow after separating it from the milk.
Freshly baked homemade bread right out of the oven. Oh, so good, and since Brooksyne was the birthday girl, she was given a whole loaf to take home!
Can't get any fresher or tastier than this! Hmm, Hmm, Good!
I receive copies of Yelp reviews of the Old Windmill Farm and was especially blessed by this observation posted yesterday by a tour participant from New York City.
My daughter was on cloud nine, and so was I. I got to experience a little bit of that world growing up, but where we live now my daughter only observes the stress and complexity of urban life. I'm so glad she got to experience some of the more awesome aspects of living on a real farm. I also am so glad she got to witness this family. They're a large family, but you could see Lizzie's father and mother and I believe her older brother all working hard and also loving each other as a family. They all spoke to each other in Pennsylvania German.
As a Christian trapped in NYC, I also appreciated how they reflected their faith, not by loud preaching, but just through simple living, hard work, and love. I loved seeing a plaque with a Bible verse in the barn. I think we city folk often look upon Amish culture as a curiosity, but what I witnessed was how they "get" what's important in life more than we ever will. Another great lesson for my daughter--and me. I can't recommend this place highly enough. Just remember if you go with your kids to make sure they respect their culture, respect the animals, and remember that this is a working farm, not a theme park.
Ester and I took Brooksyne to the breakfast buffet at Hershey Farm Restaurant. Afterwards Ester stood next to the giant Amish man when we "snapped" this photo.
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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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