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Friday, November 18, 2022

Fall cleanup
This morning we passed by a farm stand along Kendig Road in Willow Street and saw them discarding the spent mums that had not sold. We stop here occasionally for fresh produce and flowers. The farmer told us they had a good sales season but are changing over to Christmas items such as greens, wreaths, etc.

"God's Ubiquitous Blessings"

Message summary: Today we consider God's ubiquitous blessings, the greatest being "the riches of Godís grace lavished on usĒ.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

'Because of your fatherís God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your fatherís blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills" (Genesis 49:25,26). ďPraise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and willóto the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Godís grace that He lavished on usĒ (Ephesians 1:3-8).

Audrey's palletsWe were visiting the Audrey's distribution center this Tuesday and I saw an item so common I don't recall ever stopping to consider it before.

We see them in just about every company we visit; we see products for sale loaded on them at Costco; we see them stacked in huge piles at warehouses. We are referring to the ubiquitous pallet (ubiquitous means "present, appearing, or found everywhere").

There are roughly 5 billion pallets in use worldwide, an estimated 2 billion in the U.S. alone. In 2020, the global pallet market size was valued at 78 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to reach over 110 billion U.S. dollars by 2027. One article called them "The Single Most Important Object in the Global Economy".

PalletsI see them all the time yet I never pay attention to pallets. They're everywhere but you rarely notice them unless you're looking! This morning we looked and saw many stacks as we passed a Lowes store and then followed a truck with roofing loaded on pallets. We saw the pumpkins stacked on them at the Amish farm in our lead photo. Brooksyne once fell over a rough edged pallet in one of our factories as her bell bottom pant leg caught the corner of a pallet and she was down before she knew it. (Thankfully no injuries, just a few hours of pain and a few minutes of embarrassment!)

After seeing the stack at Audrey's Tuesday morning I commented on how ubiquitous they are to Roseanna, an employee, and then asked her if she could suggest a theme. After a brief pause she replied, "They're like God's blessings". What a good analogy!

But sadly, like pallets, we may also fail to see God's ubiquitous blessings and just take them for granted.

Today let us consider the ubiquitous blessings we have in Christ. The first text is Jacob's blessing to Joseph and describes God's manifold blessings.

But our main focus today will be from Ephesians 1 and our blessings in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 (image from http://www.heartlight.org)First and foremost - we who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ have the greatest blessing in the heavenly realms, ďthe riches of Godís grace lavished on usĒ. His grace prevails no matter what happens on the earthly sphere. The word ďlavishĒ means to ďsuperabound.Ē His grace always abounds and is more than sufficient no matter what.

After I write these messages each morning Brooksyne edits and sharpens my writing. She often includes additional reflection that compliments the theme of the message and writes the prayer. One thing she frequently does is break down my tendency to write long run-on sentences to make them more reader friendly.

In the original Greek, in which the Apostle Paul wrote, Ephesians 1:3-14 is one single sentence; that's 12 verses! English translations typically break this down since grammatically it is very difficult to read as a single sentence. Jim Gambini, a friend and former pastor, likened this powerful portion of Scripture to a multifaceted gem such as the Hope diamond, with the facets summed up in a single powerful phrase, "Godís glorious grace".

This is a powerful reminder of our blessings in Christ no matter the circumstances we face. Paul is writing his letter to the Ephesians from a Roman prison. He could have expended his time and energy being anxious or angry about his confinement. He could have strategized a plan for escaping when the guards were distracted. He could have made a list of grievances of the prison food or the inhumane treatment he received.

But instead he focused on Godís matchless grace and powerfully expressed this truth to others. By Godís matchless grace he rose above his dire visible circumstances and set his mind on glorious eternal truths, giving generously of himself, as he wrote of the grace and blessing that God poured into his life right in the midst of his troubles.

The authorities thought they were rendering Paul powerless by keeping him in confinement, but God had much bigger plans. In the midst of his captivity he was inspired to write life-changing truths that could only be revealed by the Holy Spirit that would release the prison doors for those held captive by the prince of darkness during his lifetime, for the generations to follow, and now nearly 2,000 years later as a part of the Holy Scriptures.

As we consider the deplorable, cramped surroundings from which these life changing words were written it is further testimony to Godís unleashed power when a transformed life is sensitive and obedient to Godís leading. Godís power is not limited by our lack of finances, a physical affliction, limited education, the political persuasion in our country or any other external circumstance. Nothing is lacking when we fully depend upon Godís grace.

Today let us consider but one phrase in the daily Scripture text, "the riches of Godís grace that He lavished on us". I want to personally and deeply appropriate this truth in my life today. ďThe riches of Godís grace". What greater type of riches can there possibly be? We indeed have ubiquitous blessings!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your grace exceeds our greatest sin and reaches our deepest need. When we read the first chapter of Ephesians we are taken back by just how privileged we are to be chosen in Christ before the creation of the world, to be predestined and adopted as Your child through Him. Some of the richest and most tender portions of Scripture that disclose the extent of Your love are revealed to us from deplorable and unjust situations. What a wonderful reminder that Your work is not limited to ideal circumstances but You do an inner work within our heart no matter what difficulty we face. Because You lavish Your love on us we cannot contain the ubiquitous blessings we receive from You and must share them with those around us. Help us to do so freely and generously through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness/My Redeemer Is Faithful"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman, The Gettys

"Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!"

"Goodness Of God"  Video  Enni and Kanaan from Nigeria  We just came across this version this morning, a father and young son duet from Nigeria. It will bless you as it did us! We dedicate it to all our African readers, especially to Judith from Uganda who wrote us this morning!

And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

"Blessings"  Video  Laura Story

Fall cleanup
Another view of our lead photo.
How practical using the manure spreader as a wagon!

We picked out a nice selection of fresh, from the field, brussels sprouts at the Corn Wagon this morning, along with broccoli, cauliflower and peppers.

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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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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