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Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Blue Mountain ridge and the Appalachian Trail provide the background border of this pond setting in Lebanon County. The views are so enjoyable as we drive along the rural roads in the course of our chaplaincy service on Tuesdays.
Click on photo to enlarge
"Dead End Road"
Message summary: The Word of God provides an absolutely reliable map to direct the course of our life on the highway extended to heaven. But many have turned their thoughts, affections, and actions onto Dead End Road, the "way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death". Which road will you travel on today?
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"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12). "Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take" (Jeremiah 31:21). "The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life" (Proverbs 16:17). "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13,14).
Yesterday we were driving through rural Lebanon County and saw a rather unimaginative but straightforward road sign named, "Dead End Road". The name was reinforced with a sign on the other side of the road that read, "No Outlet". I'm not sure what was at the end of the road but the road name and signage made it very clear that it didn't go through. I must confess to being chronically curious and my thoughts began to wonder, "Where does the dead end road go?"*¹
Warning signs can be annoying but we are wise to see them as blessings and intended for our safety. Going down the wrong road can lead to death.
A tragic story came out of North Carolina recently where a man died after his GPS led him to a destroyed bridge that dropped off into a creek on September 30th.
Phillip Paxson, a 47-year-old father of two girls, had been driving his Jeep at night from his oldest daughter's birthday party in Hickory when his GPS led him to a bridge that has been inoperative since heavy flooding in July 2013 destroyed it. "It was a dark and rainy night and he was following his GPS which led him down a concrete road to a bridge that dropped off into a river," Paxson's mother-in-law, Linda McPhee Koenig, said in a Tuesday Facebook post.*²
We have longtime friends who live in Hickory and are sure this has really impacted that community. Most of us can visualize how it could happen and it underscores the deficiencies of modern technology.
There are a lot of signposts in life and in many cases people are intentionally creating signage that directs us in the wrong direction. It's part of the downstream culture we wrote about in yesterday's message. How vitally important to discern the right signage in life!
In the second daily text the Lord directed Jeremiah to "Set up road signs; put up guideposts". When I travel I appreciate periodic road signs informing me that I'm on the right highway, as well as caution signs intended to protect me. Even if I am familiar with the route I value these signs that assure me I am going the right way.
Hebrews 12:1 refers to "the race marked out for us". (The Amplified Bible states, "the appointed course of the race that is set before us".)
We are all presently on the road to our eternal destination. So many are on the road that leads to death. God has given us the choice to steer our lives in the direction of our choosing. Since there are two different routes we may choose from He equips us with the Bible road map that tells us what to expect when we choose the narrow road. The other road is broad, well-traveled and seems very enticing. But since the futile end of this road extends beyond our initial view on this side of eternity, Solomon warns travelers, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Every one of us needs to, "Take note of the highway, the road that you take". We are all traveling on a highway. Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13,14). I want to be among those traveling the road that leads to life!
The Word of God provides an absolutely reliable map to direct the course of our life on the highway extended to heaven. But many have turned their thoughts, affections, and actions onto Dead End Road, the "way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death". Which road will you travel on today?
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, this journey of faith began at mile zero which was, for those of us who believe, the moment we chose to follow Christ. We've made milestones along the way which have assured us that the route we're on leads to life everlasting with You. Ever-evolving philosophies that originate on the broad road pop up here and there in our view seeking to steer us off course. But we fix our eyes on Your roadmap that keeps us focused on the highway of holiness. Though sorrow and mourning have been a part of our journey here below, we will enter Zion rejoicing and singing as You crown us with everlasting joy! And the indescribable blessing is that the end of this earthly journey is really only the beginning of our eternal journey with You in heaven! Thank You, Jesus, for making it possible through Your shed blood! Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Heaven Medley" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir "Walking up the King's Highway!"
"Ancient Words" Video Robin Mark
"Jesus, Only Jesus" Video Charles Billingsley, Guy Penrod, Michael O'Brien and Travis Cottrell
*¹ With the aid of Google Maps I can see where Dead End Road goes, essentially a long lane back to a several farms!
*² NC man dies after GPS sends him to bridge that was washed away in 2013 This is such a sad story. Apparently there were also not any warning signs or barricades and it was not even a public road. When we need to we use the GPS on our phones now and assume they are up to date. But one of my bigger purchasing regrets was buying our 2016 Town and Country van with a built in GPS. It not only is very hard to use but the maps need a costly annual update.
This antique truck is showcased as it sets on this bed of white stones with red border. Perhaps the owner's next goal will be to restore the truck!
I considered snapping a photo of Stephen standing next to the pumpkin who has provided a height measurement chart but it appears that he has exceeded the height markings intended for growing children. As you can see these mums are huge. I asked the grower how she got such large chrysanthemum plants (over $100.00 price tags). She said there are twelve yellow mum plants in the right planter and eight in the left purple one. They separate the plants with screens so that they fill out the planter nicely.
Here are some more gigantic mums.
As Brooksyne and I advance in inevitable senescence, each of us having a chronological milestone this month, "Grow old along with me..." makes it sound like getting older only gets better. The only way to find out is to get older which is a gift from God, though we don't often think of it that way once we reach a certain age! We took this photo yesterday at "Audrey's Your Heart's Delight" warehouse where we are often inspired by the many plaques and other inspirational products she offers to wholesale gift shop owners.
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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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