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Monday, June 6, 2022
Doting Mama horse with her three day old colt born on the Old Windmill Farm last week.
"The Tyranny Of The New" (Part 1)
Message summary: Among the many ways the world seeks to force us into its mold is the lie that the new can offer lasting satisfaction. Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want (which will always be changing), but the realization of how much you already have and finding satisfaction with that. It’s realizing that, “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.”
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“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
Growing up throughout my entire childhood I recall the rotary dial phone on our kitchen wall, the only phone in our home. A few phone options were available at that time so if you were well-to-do you might have paid extra each month for tone dialing or they had a "princess phone" for the bedroom advertised with the slogan, "It's little...It's lovely...It lights". My parents saw no need for an extension phone! Brooksyne recalls that the wall phone costs extra so her parents had only the rotary desk phone. Colored phones were an additional cost so both of our families had only black phones.
Extravagances like a colored phone, were deemed unnecessary by our parents who grew up during the Great Depression. At the time it never occurred to me to be dissatisfied with that phone or to want something new. It worked fine and we were blessed to have a private line as long as I can remember, unlike the party line Brooksyne had growing up which they initially shared with ten neighbors! (See her note below.)
The first mobile phone was developed in 1985 (photo on right) about the same time we remember seeing the first cordless phones. What a novelty then to see people sitting out on their porch or walking in their yard talking on the phone! Now we don't think anything of it.
Presently, of course, there is an outstanding variety in phone types, and new phones are being offered with more and more features. Although many cell phone plans come with a "free" phone many step up to a more advanced style and then purchase new phones through the life of the plan. A three year old phone can seem old now days!
We live in a time when people are obsessed with the new. Now I’m sure to some degree this has always been the case but in my observation this obsession has increased dramatically in my lifetime. The cycle time between what is new and old is much, much shorter, and in some cases a matter of months will make the "new" purchase an outdated item.
Now to be clear and not come off as "holier than thou" I like new stuff and in many ways "new" can be a blessing. Today I have a new garden tractor coming that replaces one I had bought used from my neighbor nine years ago. I am just not able to service something like I used to.
New often works better and does more (although so much that is new probably won’t last as long since we live in such a disposable society).
But there is also a tyrannical aspect to the new. New is constantly changing, similar to "state of the art". An engineer once told me that many electronic type items are no longer "state of the art" as soon as they become available for sale, since the next generation is already waiting to be placed on market. What’s new today will be old very quickly and if people base their contentment on the new they will be constantly frustrated and many are.
Today’s tiny verse is power-packed and so needed. Many view the experience of "gain" in life as having newer stuff and more of it. But that is certainly not what the apostle Paul is writing about. Consider the power of the phrase, "But godliness with contentment is great gain." It's a verse I quote often and refer to frequently in our messages.
“Godliness refers to the act of being pious and living a good, reverent life toward God and others because of what Christ has done in us.” (Richard Krejkir)
Godliness is a dying virtue in our time, though God will always have a remnant who walk in a manner that honors and pleases Him.
Among the many ways the world seeks to force us into its mold is the lie that the new can offer lasting satisfaction. Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want (which will always be changing), but the realization of how much you already have and finding satisfaction with that. It’s realizing that, “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.”
From the beginning Satan has tormented the human race with this lie: "That which God has provided is never enough". At the very heart of Satan’s first lie and temptation to Adam and Eve was that the breathtaking beauty in the Garden was not enough; that human companionship was not enough; that God’s provision was not enough; that His authority was meant to be questioned.
Today we have an abundant and growing allure toward the newest and latest which we’ve been told will make us happy; whether it’s visiting a special location promoted as "heaven on earth", whether it’s the latest item guaranteed to surpass our expectations, or for others it’s that special someone that’s going to finally bring you fulfillment in life.
Today may the Lord help us to identify the tyranny of the new and consider how it impacts us; whether it is for the good (and certainly this can be the case), or whether it contributes to discontent or ingratitude for what we already have.
Tomorrow I plan to write about how the "tyranny of the new" is also impacting the church.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we find ourselves often like Adam and Eve who, instead of looking upon ALL that You had given to them for enjoyment and sustenance, chose to partake of what little You forbid. Sometimes we set our eyes on that which is too expensive and unnecessary, or that which belongs to another causing us to covet and break Your commandment. Help us to be thankful for that which we have and share with those who have less. Guard us from greed or discontent as we are daily mindful of our blessings. Help us to rejoice in other’s good fortunes instead of resenting or envying them. All that we have need of is daily provided by Your generous hand. We thank You, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Brooksyne’s Note: Talk about easy access to gossip in the neighborhood! For those too young to understand what sharing a party line is; when you pick up your phone to make a call you always had to listen first to make sure another person wasn’t already talking. If they were you had to quietly replace the phone receiver and wait until they finished their conversation before you had access to your phone. When sharing with ten parties you might not have the phone available for many hours. It was in my junior high years that my folks said, "Enough is enough" and we stepped up to a two party line. Finally we could access our own phone more easily than with a ten party line which was fairly important to our household of seven (four of us being teen-agers). To this day the neighbor who used the phone the most comes to mind. Her name was Josie and we thought she'd never end her conversations as we time after time picked up the phone receiver to check yet again, "Is the line free?"
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Knowing You" Video Joe Garlington
"The Same God/Great Is Thy Faithfulness" Video From our service yesterday at Calvary Church. A nice combination of a new song followed by Brooksyne's favorite hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, both proclaiming Biblical truth and specifically God's faithfulness!
O God, my God, I need You
O God, my God, I need You now
How I need You now, yes
O Rock, O Rock of ages
I'm standing on Your faithfulness
On Your faithfulness
In our Sunday School class we are studying an outstanding book by Erwin Lutzer titled "We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture's Assault on Christianity". Here's a page with a video introduction.
This brings to mind so many issues that cause us to lament. A lament is "a passionate expression of grief or sorrow".
Our hearts lament 1: The slide into absolute decadence is rapidly increasing. The Lancaster Barnstormers are our local minor league baseball team. We have been to many games through the years and it has been a very family friendly place. Saturday I received an email with this announcement concerning the game that evening: "It's Pride night! Rainbow draw strings bag giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 16 and older & Drag Queens will perform between innings!" (I still wonder if it was a sick joke since of course we didn't go to the game. I wrote the info email address but haven't heard back).
Lament 2: Lisa Hosler, the leader of our local crisis pregnancy ministry (Align Life), is a member of our class. Align Life, along with many Lancaster County non profits, are included in "Extraordinary Give" a 24-hour event every November where people from across our community join together to financially support local ministries and non-profit organizations. We have donated through this to many local causes since there is also a matching aspect. Yesterday Lisa shared that "Extraordinary Give" is now requiring the groups that receive funds to sign onto acceptance of the latest sexual perversion craziness in order to participate. Thankfully she shared that Christian non-profits are joining together to oppose this change.
The Disposable Society: The Real World We Live In An interesting perspective
Don’t Say ‘They’: Why Pronouns Matter A thoughtful perspective from John Stonestreet
Several months ago I shared how the "woke" nonsense has impacted medical forms being asked on a form (which had a label at the top indicating I was a male) whether I wanted to be a he/him, she/her, they/them or something else.
These forms can be confusing for the seniors who aren't up on the latest sexual immorality insanity. A senior friend recently shared how he was filling out a form and mistakenly indicated he was "bisexual". He later responded to that medical center that he was NOT bisexual once he understood its meaning.
The children at Old Windmill Farm know of Brooksyne's affection for baby goats so they greeted us on Friday with one of three brand new baby goats. About the size of a growing puppy, these goats are very easy to cuddle, at least that's what Brooksyne thinks!
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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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