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, November 3, 2021

Appalachian trail overlook
A vista view overlooking Berks and Lebanon Counties from the Appalachian Trail near Bethel, PA. Brooksyne suggested I make this into a fall header for our messages till we get a winter theme photo so it's on here twice today!
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Salvaging Lives"

Message summary: Today we encourage you that no life is beyond salvaging. If you read this and believe you are beyond hope that's a lie, for there is always hope in Christ. If you have a burden for a loved one whose life needs salvaged keep on trusting, praying and shining your light for Him.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones" (Mark 5:2-5).

Years ago I was talking to my longtime friend Mike Matangelo, and I told him it would be neat to have a program that shows what it looks like from the air as you fly over an area. He told me you could essentially do about the same thing by using Google maps and it works!  I enjoy looking at where I'm going or where I've been on google maps which is easier on the neck and eyeballs than looking out the plane window!

Near a company we visited yesterday in rural Lebanon County is a salvage yard named "Greble U-Pull-It". What especially caught my attention when I "flew" over the area was how orderly it looked from the air on satellite view on Google maps. Moving in for a closer view I noticed the vehicles are neatly arranged diagonally and placed up on blocks. If I ever needed a salvaged car part this orderly place might interest me!

But actually I don't have much interest in salvage yards and don't recall ever going to very many even when I was younger. But I recall my dad would check them out when he needed a part and certainly Brooksyne's dad frequented salvage yards, probably knew their phone number by heart, as he was a master tinkerer.

To salvage means "the act of saving something that is in danger of being completely destroyed". In the case of a vehicle it's the last step of usefulness till it is crushed for scrap. For those unfamiliar with auto salvage yards useful parts are stripped from a car that has been wrecked or no longer runs.

Today we are going to consider salvaged lives.*

One of my most memorable pleas for help came from a broken-hearted father concerning his wayward daughter. When I stopped by to visit him at his desk he looked up at me and pleaded, "Please help me salvage this life". What a heartfelt plea of desperation I heard from this loving father and I am sure some of our readers can identify with it. But salvaging lives is at the very heart of the gospel! Today let us consider one of the great salvage stories in the Bible, the Gadarene demoniac. Our daily text describes his desperate plight. Surely he seemed like a hopeless cause.

A song written by Bill Gaither some 1950 years later could well describe him.

'Twas a life filled with aimless desperation
Without hope walked the shell of a man;

Just consider the description of this man:

"And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met Him:
  • "A man with an unclean spirit." That is, he had a demon possessed, evil spirit.
  • "He lived among the tombs."  A cemetery is not the kind of place I'd want to call "home".
  • "And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him." He was socially isolated and any attempt at restraint failed.
  • "Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains." His condition was continuous and ongoing (for how long the Scripture doesn't say).
  • "He was always crying out." What tremendous mental anguish this man was in!
  • "And cutting himself with stones." Was he trying to commit suicide in his hopelessness?
But praise God, something happened! He met Jesus and nothing is impossible with God. He got delivered and saved. The Scripture describes the change after his deliverance as "clothed and in his right mind". The final description in the Bible is that "he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled".

Today we encourage you that no life is beyond salvaging. If you read this and believe you are beyond hope that's a lie, for there is always hope in Christ. If you have a burden for a loved one whose life needs salvaged keep on trusting, praying and shining your light for Jesus.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, I choose to believe Your Word and apply its wondrous truths to my life and those of others. I reject Satanís cunning lies that seek to convince me that I or anyone I know is an exception to Your redemptive power or that our troubles can never be repaired by Your almighty hand. Your power is unbiased, all-reaching, and ever merciful to those who humble themselves and call upon You in time of need. Iím so grateful that Your sufficiency exceeds our needs. Thank you for salvaging my life by taking my feet from the sinking, miry clay and setting them upon the solid rock to stay. Amen.

* Salvaged life. So many illustrations are at least somewhat deficient. Ten years ago we were rear ended in our Chrysler Town and Country van. Due to the age of the vehicle and extent of damage it was totaled by the insurance company. But it still ran OK and we opted to take a settlement from the insurance company and keep the vehicle. We had it repaired at a local trade school where a friend of ours was the instructor and used it for another 5 years. But it had to have a "salvaged" designation on the title. Actually in Christ we are made new! We don't post "SALVAGED" on our foreheads to indicate the change in our life, but our actions, attitudes and words should certainly reflect the new person we are in Christ.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

See here for the satellite view on Google of the salvage yard mentioned in today's message.

"The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band  (This is the song quoted in the message)

"I Got Saved"  Video  Selah  Is there a chance the former demoniac in our lesson today, "salvaged" by the all-powerful hand of God, is singing this song in heaven?

Since then I walk in forgiveness
All of my guilt was erased
The chains of the past
Are broken at last
I got saved
Oh, I got saved

"Chain Breaker (Live from Harding Prison)"  Video  Zach Williams  Another song describing his life.

The Greble U-Pull-It salvage yard is near Blue Mountain where today's lead photo was taken from an overlook point on the Appalachian Trail. We had actually planned to hike to this lookout point yesterday morning following our chaplain visit but we had a rainy day again and it's starting to get a bit too cold for Brooksyne to enjoy hiking! (Her warm Oklahoma bred blood starts to freeze when the temps start dropping.)

So today we will share several of our previously posted photos of Blue Mountain.

Lebanon County farm near Blue Mountain
Lebanon County farm at the foot of Blue Mountain last year about this time.
Click on photo to enlarge

Hawk Mountain north lookout 10/2/18 (Click to enlarge)
View a lookout point on Hawk Mountain on the north side of the Blue Mountain ridge in early October before the leaves turned.
(Click to enlarge)

Berks County PA Blue mountain farm scene
This bountiful farm has a beautiful panoramic view of Blue Mountain in the background.
Note the Combine at the lower left in the photo (wheat harvest).

Finally today:

First frost
This morning we awakened to our first seasonal frost, a bit later than usual. In our twenty year memory of living in Lancaster County the first frost has always arrived in mid to late October, rather than November.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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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