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Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Cows in front of Ken and Audrey's house
Click on photo to enlarge
"A Lesson From Unrestrained Bovines"
Message summary: Although Moses gave the wonderful promise in the daily text to the children of Israel shortly before they entered the Promised Land it is also a great principle applicable to all of His children today.
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"See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess" (Deuteronomy 30:15,16). "Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set" (Proverbs 22:28).
We see a lot of dairy cattle as we roam about rural Lancaster and Lebanon Counties here in Pennsylvania. It's a beautiful, wholesome sight to see the cows grazing out in the pasture or meadow. We practically always see them along Little Swatara Creek when we visit Audrey's, a company in a rural part of Lebanon County, where we serve as chaplains.
Ken and Audrey Mull own the business, a wholesale distributor of gift and home decor items similar to what you see in a Cracker Barrel gift shop. They started over 40 years ago in the early years of their marriage when Audrey designed crafts to sell which supplemented their family income as dairy farmers. The business has grown immensely and they have been greatly blessed.
They still live on the same property as the farm and have a huge, beautiful lawn with professional landscaping, including more varieties of flowers than we have ever seen on a private property, along with flowing fountains and other enhancements.
Last week Ken was in Atlanta for a trade show and the property was blessed with several four legged guests! The cows along Little Swatara Creek had somehow managed to get through the electric fence and were just having a jolly old time of bovine fellowship gathering on Ken and Audrey's lawn that sits across the lane from the Audrey's office. (See our lead photo taken by Phil, the operations manager.) They were even drinking from the fountain! Perhaps they were humming the old blue grass song, "We Are Drinking From The Fountain".
One of the employees saw the activity from an office window (which I am sure was rather amusing). Several of the employees, including Phil who was raised on a dairy farm, put on their cowboy hats and had a roundup to get the cows back to their designated pasture. Yesterday Phil quipped "rounding up cows" should be in his job description. We assume the cause of the breach was rectified!
The farmer uses the electric fence as a boundary to keep the cattle in the pasture area for their safety and to keep them from roaming in places where they might cause destruction. Years ago we encountered a group of cows along very busy Route 30 near the Golden Corral here in Lancaster County. Electric fences are normally very effective. It seems the cattle stay away from it sensing the rather unpleasant consequence that awaits them if they touch it!
But cows are notoriously attracted to greener grass and Ken's lawn is very green!
"The grass is greener on the other side" is a far too common mindset among the human population as well. This idiom is a shortened version of the proverb the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, meaning that a different situation or circumstance always seems better than one’s own; other people’s lives always seem more comfortable, pleasant, etc. Today we apply this to the appeal of sin.
God, in His love and care for us, has also established fences (or boundaries). But figuratively speaking we have a propensity in our sin nature to consider the grass on the other side to be more appealing, greener, denser, and tastier!
In light of the inevitable conflict this presents to one's thinking, what a blessing it is to have an outlook that views fences as God's gift to us. God has set up boundaries expressed in different ways in the Scriptures. There are negative boundaries of prohibition such as "Thou shalt not" and there are positive boundaries of command such as "Thou shalt".
Man's nature since the fall has always been to mess with these boundaries! Just consider the world's problems in light of this. But how vitally healthy to recognize that these boundaries are for our good.
Although Moses gave the wonderful promise in the daily text to the children of Israel shortly before they entered the Promised Land it is also a great principle applicable to all of His children today.
"See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction." Truth be told we might prefer if this just said, "I set before you today life and prosperity"; leave the negative stuff out. But God (in this case through Moses) tells us the truth, that death and destruction are also set before us if we wander outside His boundaries.
"For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess".
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we are grateful for the boundaries You place throughout Scripture that guard us from danger. Often it's to protect us from the devil who lurks waiting for the opportunity to pounce and other times it's to protect us from our own vain vices that can be equally destructive to ourselves and often to others as well. Wise us up so that we don't resent or rebel against the fences intended for our own eternal good. Rather help us to see that You are an all-wise, all-knowing God who looks after us and sets boundaries so that we don't lose sight of our spiritual heritage here on earth which will keep us on the straight and narrow way that leads to our eternal inheritance in heaven. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"We Are Drinking From The Fountain" Video Ralph Stanley Can you just imagine the cows tapping their hooves in sinc with this song!
"Drinking At The Springs Of Living Water" Video Melody Four
Audreys (Here's their location of Google maps.)
Randy, a friend who works at Audrey's, took this rainbow photo near Myerstown, PA.
We saw this man at Giant yesterday and couldn't resist reading his t-shirt. We consider how a method like this might be a good idea for conveying a spiritual truth!
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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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